Viva Brighton Issue #73 March 2019

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VIVA

B R I G H T O N

#73. MAR 2019

EDITORIAL

...........................

.......................

Viva Magazines is based at:

Lewes House, 32 High St,

Lewes, BN7 2LX.

For all enquiries call:

01273 488882.

Every care has been taken to

ensure the accuracy of our content.

We cannot be held responsible for

any omissions, errors or alterations.

As politicians snarl and backbite over border

walls, backstops and trade agreements, one voice

– for me – is ringing clear as a bell. That of the

16-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg,

who in searingly direct language reminds us that

top of every agenda ought to be what’s happening

to the planet and – more importantly – what we

are going to do about it.

Politics aside, we all have a part to play in leaving

the planet a better place than we found it (or

at least no worse off). Our addiction to overconsumption,

convenience and our obsession

with the new are choking us – and the planet

– whether we want to face up to it or not. The

choices we make, our buying decisions, our

grocery shopping, what we throw away, it all

matters. We all need to use less. Keep things for

longer. Make do and mend.

To help get us on the right track we’ve sought

out local people who are living the changes: A

café with volunteers on hand to help you mend,

say, that perfectly serviceable rug; a craftsman

who is elevating imperfections to an artform; a

hub for sustainable living advice; litter-picking

Kittie Kipper, and the Extinction Rebellion group

who aren’t going to take government inaction

on climate change lying down. They’ve certainly

given me cause to ponder my own (in)actions.

We started this issue with ‘make do and mend’ in

mind. As it comes together, I’d like to revise that

to ‘make, do and mend’. Let’s take our lead from

Greta Thunberg, and the thousands of young

people out on Climate Strike. The time for action

is now. The world can’t wait.


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VIVA

B R I G H T O N

THE TEAM

.....................

EDITOR: Lizzie Lower lizzie@vivamagazines.com

SUB EDITOR: David Jarman

PRODUCTION EDITOR: Joe Fuller joe@vivamagazines.com

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman katie@vivamagazines.com

PHOTOGRAPHER AT LARGE: Adam Bronkhorst mail@adambronkhorst.com

ADVERTISING: Hilary Maguire hilary@vivamagazines.com,

Sarah Jane Lewis sarah-jane@vivamagazines.com

ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS: Kelly Mechen kelly@vivamagazines.com

DISTRIBUTION: David Pardue distribution@vivamagazines.com

CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Ben Bailey,

Cammie Toloui, Charlotte Gann, Chloë King, Chris Riddell, Jake Kennedy, JJ Waller,

Jacqui Bealing, Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, John O’Donoghue, Lizzie Enfield,

Mark Greco, Martin Skelton, Michael Blencowe, Nione Meakin, Rose Dykins

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden becky@vivamagazines.com

Please recycle your Viva (or keep us forever).


CONTENTS

...............................

Photo by @kittiekipper

Bits & bobs.

8-25. Jake Kennedy’s cut out creation

is on the cover, life-long railwayman

and Bluebell founder Bernard Holden

is on the buses and Alexandra Loske is

in awe of the painstaking patience of

the conservation team. Elsewhere, Joe

Decie’s upcycling the contents of his

fridge, and JJ Waller finds evidence of

trash-can democracy in Trafalgar Street.

Plus, Pelican Parcels, Bethan Roberts’

Graceland and is this the end of the road

for the once Great Eastern?

My Brighton.

26-27. Born and bred Brightonian

Claire Potter on zero-waste dining and

regenerative design.

Photography.

29-35. The beach cleaning exploits (and

Instagram feed) of artist/activist

Kittie Kipper.

29

Photo by Lizzie Lower

54

Columns.

36-41. Lizzie Enfield calls her folks for

a fix, Amy Holtz is in for repair, and the

Helmers are almost as good as new.

On this month.

43-51. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick

of the gigs; a take on Romeo & Juliet

in Noughts & Crosses at the Theatre

Royal; The Hiccup Project bring their

girl power to The Old Market; The

intersection of dance and hip hop in

Blak Whyte Gray at the Dome, and the

pioneering women doctors of Brighton

and Hove at The Keep. Plus, comedian

Ray Bradshaw on life with deaf parents;

play at being a big time banker in Lies

at the Attenborough Centre, and Rosy

Carrick has received a letter from her

future self at TOM.

....6 ....


CONTENTS

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Art & Design.

53-59. Nigel Cooke and his Painter’s

Beach Club wash up at the Jerwood; Stephen

Jones and his extraordinary hats are

at the Pavilion; Chloë King meets visible

mending man Tom of Holland, and just

some of what’s on, art-wise, this month.

59

The way we work.

61-65. Adam Bronkhorst visits expert

menders at their work benches and

discovers their most testing projects to

date.

Photo by Tom van Deijnen

Food.

66-69. Seriously hot stuff at Lucky

Khao, a very classy carrot cake at Rathfinny,

and just a taster of this month’s

food news.

Features.

71-79. We drop in on the Brighton

Repair Café, meet the sustainability

savvy folks at The Green Centre, and

get a tune-up at Cranks Bike Workshop.

Plus, we go treasure-hunting at

Emmaus, visit the expertly upcycled

interiors of the Student Union at the

University of Sussex, and hear from

the Brighton chapter of climate change

movement Extinction Rebellion.

Wildlife.

81. Michael Blencowe pays homage to

the Nuthatch and its home improvements.

Photo by Chloë King

66

Inside left.

82. Laying the tram tracks at Preston

Circus, 1903.

....7 ....


THIS MONTH’S COVER ARTIST

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One of the things we love about our covers is

the breadth of styles and techniques from the

talented artists we showcase. This month’s cover

artist, Jake Kennedy, appreciates the contrast

himself, pointing out that his is a much more

muted, faded affair than the sharp, bright

January piece by Matt Johnstone. “Your January

issue is very vibrant and clearly

digital. That’s beautiful in and of

itself, but there’s something about

collage that is forgotten and rusty

and old.”

Jake doesn’t alter the colours of

his cut outs at all, so the only

digital involvement for our cover

is a coloured Photoshop

background. “It’s kind of a slightly naff old

computer colour, like the early Apple Macs.

You’d see it by a bin somewhere, I like that”.

Splitting his work between home and his studio

in Farm Mews, one advantage of the studio is a

lack of cats to mess up Jake’s collages, as well as

natural light from a skylight. His images are all

sourced physically – mostly from charity shops

and flea markets – so a meddling mog could

prove disastrous.

Jake is influenced by album cover art such as

Pavement’s, the audio collage work of artists

such as DJ Shadow, and he appreciates the

minimal approach and careful contrast of John

Stezaker. The construction of the cover is built

up of many different experiments around the

theme of ‘make do and mend’.

“I had a lot of bits and bobs pre-cut which

I would then arrange and re-arrange, think

....8 ....


JAKE KENNEDY

......................................................

about it for a few days, then go back to it. These

were the ones that rose to the top, if you like.

I knew that I wanted the lady in the middle

because that is the most blatant regarding the

theme. As the cover goes around, the cut outs

all kind of interact in their own way. The man

in the bottom right is throwing a ball, but he’s

dictating, giving her the power to blow the horn,

and it’s going straight into his head.”

I’m curious as to what many of the elements are:

I particularly like the friendly-looking guide to

electronics on the bottom middle, a teaching

character that reminds me of parodies in The

Simpsons’ classrooms. The man in the middle

right requires the most explaining: “he is fixing

a nuclear reactor but the background was very

busy, so I cut it out to quieten it down a bit. It is

the bottom right of an A4 or A3 factory shot.”

The object under the Viva title meanwhile is

a deconstruction of the workings of a Morris

Minor, whereas the globe is from an atlas,

outlining the angle of sunlight on the planet.

He’s not entirely sure what the device on the

bottom right is however, but

assumes it is a microphone

or dictaphone of some kind.

Answers on a postcard to the Viva

office please.

Joe Fuller

butternutcollage.com

Contact Jake if you would like to

buy the original collages, or

if you know about any

exhibition space

available for him

to use.

....9 ....


TRIPS AND BOBS

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SPREAD THE WORD

Here’s Jo McQueen having

a very viva moment with her

copy of Viva Brighton at Lindas

Viva Panjim restaurant, in the

Goan state capital (renamed

Panaji in the 1960s). Inspired

by Brighton’s pin-hole camera-wielding

artist Nick Sayers,

who took his Cycle the Solar

System bike ride project to a

science festival in the Indian

city in 2017, Jo spent a few

days intrepidly exploring the

erstwhile capital of Portuguese

India by bike.

And here’s Frances Tobin, fresh

off the train from Bangalore

and ready to explore Mysore.

The city is noted for its

heritage architecture, but that’s

not the Mysore Palace behind

her; it’s a mural in the very

colourful underpass at Mysore

railway station.

Keep taking us with you and

keep spreading the word. Send

your photographs and a few

words about you and your trip

to hello@vivamagazines.com

ON THE BUSES #47: BERNARD HOLDEN ROUTE 5

“I have steam in my blood,” said fourth-generation railwayman Bernard

Holden, reflecting on his life on the railways. He was born in March 1908,

in the station house at Barcombe, where his father was the station master.

After his schooling at Steyning Grammar School, Bernard joined the

Southern Railway as a clerk in 1925, and later moved to London on the

outbreak of war. There he supervised the evacuation of children, rerouted

rail services through the Blitz-ravaged city, and saw trains full of soldiers

returning from Dunkirk. In June 1941 he reported to Longmore Military

Railway and was posted to Bengal where he spent much of the war operating

railways in northern India, carrying troops and supplies to the front in Burma. He joined the newly

nationalised British Railways in 1948 and remained there until his retirement in 1972.

You might think that was enough trains for one lifetime, but Bernard ran another railway in his spare

time. In 1960, he and a group of fellow railway enthusiasts established the Bluebell Railway, reopening

the recently-closed line between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park. Starting as the signalling engineer,

Bernard went on to become President of the steam-operated passenger railway and was given an MBE

in 1992 for services to railway preservation. Today the Bluebell Railway’s collection of historic locomotives,

carriages and wagons run on a 22-mile return trip between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.

Bernard died in Ditchling in 2012, aged 104. His funeral cortège included a nine-mile ride on the

Bluebell Railway.

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

....10....


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JOE DECIE

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....13....


CURATOR’S CITY

...............................

ROCKING THOSE GLOVES:

HANDLING DRAGONS, REGENCY BONNETS AND LUMPS OF PUDDING

Photo of Alexandra Loske by Stuart Robinson

A curator never works in isolation, although it

can sometimes be a solitary job. I divide my work

into three parts: sitting at the computer writing,

researching and cataloguing; working in archives,

stores and ‘on the floor’; and working with and

for the public, meaning giving talks and tours

and putting exhibitions and displays together.

The latter is one of the most enjoyable aspects of

my work and few things give me greater pleasure

than bringing out rarely seen objects from our

city’s amazing art collections and archives. But

putting an object on display involves more work

and people than you might imagine, especially

when the object is old and fragile, and I rely

heavily on the knowledge, expertise and skills

of our conservation team. We are very lucky to

have an in-house team at the Royal Pavilion and

Brighton Museums.

I have a pretty sound knowledge of materials and

Photo by Alexandra Loske

....14....


CURATOR’S CITY

...............................

Photos by Alexandra Loske

the composition of works of art, but a specialised

conservator can tell me the ins and outs – and

dangers – of any object I am dealing with or

confirm assumptions I have made about which

pigments were used (some readers may recall

that I have a particular interest in colour). Coloured

and glazed ornaments, for example, could

have hazardous metallic components, or contain

toxic pigments. Objects may be more fragile than

they appear, which is especially important when

dealing with more recent materials, such as forms

of plastic (polymers), modern paper and glues,

some of which deteriorate at an unknown rate.

My colleagues in conservation make informed

decisions about whether an object can safely be

displayed, and their word counts. If a precious

19th century watercolour painting has been on

display for extended periods, we may need to

replace it with a reproduction, to preserve it for

future generations.

To me, conservators are magicians who can bring

an object back to life, and sometimes I am surprised

at what is possible, especially when it comes

to cleaning, repairing or stabilising works on

paper, or mounting one of those gauzy Regency

dresses in such a way that it can be displayed, and

its delicacy appreciated. I am constantly amazed

by my conservator colleagues’ skills. Currently

our paper conservator is preparing around 50

prints, drawings and paintings for display in my

next exhibition All the King’s Horses, which will

tell the story of George IV’s Brighton stables and

his love for all things equestrian.

Usually I’m the one giving objects to the conservation

team, but sometimes they give things to

me to look after. Recently our gilder, Norman

Stevens, retired after several decades in service,

and he was keen for me to retrieve a motley

selection of fragments originally from the Royal

Pavilion interiors, including carved snakes, dragons

and bells, from his studio (several of which

are currently on display in A Royal Room Restored,

in the Prince Regent Gallery of the Royal Pavilion).

The aim is to accession them individually

as important works of art relating to the Royal

Pavilion’s history. He left notes with almost all

of these small items, beautifully observed and

written, as only a conservator can. I hope I can

do him and the objects justice.

Alexandra Loske, Art Historian and Curator

....15....


BITS AND PUBS

...............................

PUB: THE GREAT EASTERN

I walk through the

narrow door from the

unseasonably springlike

Friday afternoon

sun into the rather

dimmer interior of

the Great Eastern. I

know it well: it’s one of

those pubs that I keep

finding myself at, year

after year. I normally

order a Bourbon, of

which they have a vast

range. But today I’m

on a mission. Today

I’m after a particular

type of beer.

There’s nowhere else quite like the Eastern.

It’s an independent kind of pub which

wears its scruffiness proudly on its sleeve; a

boozer with the sort of idiosyncratic charm

that has organically developed over years

and decades; a place you couldn’t replicate.

A pub for regulars: there’s a guy sat in the

corner who looks as much of a fixture as

the long bar, the book-lined shelves, or the

beer mat-plastered beams.

But it doesn’t look like we can count on it

for long, at least not in its present incarnation.

The clue is in the name of the beer

I’m ordering: Save the Eastern, a 3.8% ale,

retailing at a modest £3.75. The pub, you

see, is under threat.

The Great Eastern is owned by Ei, formerly

Enterprise Inns, the biggest pubco in

the country. But for over 20 years it’s been

leased out to Pleisure, a much smaller,

Photo by Lizzie Lower

independent, Brighton-based

company

that has been running

a handful of pubs, including

four Brighton

boozers.

In 2016, the managing

director of Pleisure,

Nick Griffin, made

a request for some

of the pubs he runs

to be ‘free of tie’. He

was trying to take

advantage of the Pubs

Code, a recent piece

of government legislation

designed to free tenants from the

obligation of purchasing their booze directly

from the major pubcos, in exchange for

a commercial, market-based rent.

Ei responded by promptly serving notice

on the lease of the Great Eastern, which

ends in March; Griffin has also been told

the St James Tavern and The Office, his

two other Brighton pubs, will not have

their leases renewed. The Pull and Pump

has already gone. A petition asking Ei to

change its mind has collected over 5,000

signatures.

I take my pint out to one of the little tables

in the cul-de-sac by the side of the pub,

and watch the Trafalgar-streetlife go by.

And I can report that it’s not a bad-tasting

ale. But can the campaign it’s named after

do what it says on the pump badge? Come

on Ei, have a heart.

Alex Leith

....17....


'Fantastic place, full of beautiful magazines. I just love this shop.’

the world of great indie mags is here in Brighton.

22 Trafalgar Street

magazinebrighton.com

@magbrighton

magazinebrighton


JJ WALLER

...............................

JJ Waller spotted this unorthodox street cleaning initiative in Trafalgar Street.

“Voting with your butt gives Brighton smokers the chance to comment on the

important issues of the day,” writes JJ. “That the ashtray looks like a smokers’

lungs is a purely incidental message”.

We think it’s somewhat revolting. (As is pineapple on pizza.)

....19....


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To book the experience of a lifetime, email

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BABES AND BOBS

...............................

CHARITY BOX #35: PELICAN PARCELS

Shelley Bennett co-founded

Pelican Parcels with

husband James to support

disadvantaged families in

Brighton and Hove. She

tells Viva more…

Pelican Parcels is

Brighton’s first ‘baby

bank’; how does it work?

Basically, we collect baby

stuff from people who no

longer need it and pass

it on to people who do.

We distribute everything

from babygrows and toys

through to cots and buggies. People are referred

to us via midwives, health visitors or social services,

with a form that tells us exactly what they

need and the reason they require support. More

than 19 per cent of families in Brighton and

Hove were reported to be living below the poverty

line in 2011 [Child Poverty Index] so there’s

a high demand for our service. We took our first

donations at the start of December [2018] and

have actioned 33 referrals since.

What prompted you to set up the charity?

When the youngest of our three kids got to her

first birthday I phoned a few local charities to

ask how I could pass on our baby things to people

in need. No one would accept them because

they had no means of storing or processing

them. I found that shocking. This was nice stuff,

in good condition, but I couldn’t give it away.

That night, over a cup of tea with James, I told

him we had to fix the situation. I’d never run a

charity before but I thought someone needed

to do it and why shouldn’t that someone be me?

I’d been in Brighton long enough to call in all

the favours we needed and

get a great team together.

Then it took about a year

to find premises that were

big enough and cheap

enough [Pelican Parcels is

based in Castle Street, off

Western Road].

How is the charity

funded? James and I put

some (quite a lot) of our

own money in and then we

were fortunate to get an

initial grant of £5,000 from

Sussex Community Foundation,

which is enough to cover our rent for

five months. Once we’ve managed to fundraise

against the ongoing premises costs we will be

fundraising for a volunteer coordinator, which

we desperately need to help us manage all the

wonderful people who give us, and have offered

us, their time.

How can people help? Our offices are open

every Wednesday for donations. We take

clothing, toys, [new] toiletries and equipment

for newborns and children up to ten-year-olds.

We’ll often put call-outs for specific items on

our Facebook page but we welcome anything

that’s in good condition – if you’d pass it on

to your best friend, it’s good enough to go in a

parcel. I’ve been so touched by the kindness and

goodwill people have shown, but then I think

Brighton has that strong community spirit.

People like living here and they want it to be a

positive place to live. They try to recycle and be

green and now they’re rallying round to help

local families. Interview by Nione Meakin

pelicanparcels.org.uk

....21....


in safe

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Find us at Freshfield Business Park,

Freshfield Way, Kemp Town, or call:

01273 692257

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BITS AND BOOKS

...............................

CATS SEEKING LAPS #10

BOOK REVIEW: GRACELAND

BY BETHAN ROBERTS

Pretty Lady Seeks Quiet Home

Name: Smudge

Age: 11

Occupation: Beautician

Me: I am a gentle gal, looking for a peaceful

home with ample hiding places in case visitors

come. I have long nails and long fur and

I like an evening of brushing, cuddling and

lap kneading. I’ll tolerate an old, tired dog in

the house as long as I’m respected and we can

snuggle on cold days.

Seeking: One or two doting humans with

little to no social life, willing to lavish me

with attention and grooming time. Must be

fur-tolerant and proficient in cat pedicure

techniques.

Interests: Well-kept gardens for an afternoon

stroll, fur brushes of varying stiffnesses,

long naps in obscure nooks, duvet burrowing.

Dislikes: Garden statuary, house guests, children,

cats, rush-hour traffic, open-plan living,

ceiling fans, wrong way back scratching,

performance art, toileting in the rain.

Words and picture by Cammie Toloui

cammietoloui.com / Insta: @cammie669

‘Two peoples divided by

a common language.’

Shaw’s crack about

America and Britain was

in my mind as I read

Graceland. That’s because

I kept thinking about

how language is used

in the Southern States,

how it has a flavour all its

own, a lilt to it that’s different from, say, the kind

of language New Yorkers use. I don’t think you

hear much about ‘jambalaya’ in Gotham, just as I

can’t imagine the young Elvis ordering a bagel.

It’s this attention to the acoustics of American

vernacular that makes Bethan Roberts’ novel work

so well. She understands the South better than I

understand the South East. The novel opens with

Elvis as ‘The King’ in Christmas 1957, relaxing

at Graceland. But into this world of lavish wealth

comes the news his mother, Gladys, has been

dreading: Elvis gets his call-up papers, and must

report to an Army base in Memphis. The novel

then switches to 1937, and through these parallel

timelines – pre- and post-fame Elvis – chronicles

the performer’s childhood and his early triumphs.

Elvis may well be a tragic figure, venially exploited

by Colonel Parker, stopped in his tracks when

he joined the Army, a performer who never truly

fulfilled his potential. But Roberts finds in his

relationship with his mother, Gladys, the depths

we hear in Elvis’s tender, velvet voice. And all of

this in prose that is as cool and clean as ‘The King’

was sulky and sultry. Graceland sings.

John O’Donoghue

Chatto and Windus, £12.99 hb

....23....


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BITS AND BOGS

...............................

MAGAZINE OF THE MONTH: BESIDE

I grew up with ‘make do

and mend’. Socks that were

continually mended so that

there was more mend than

sock; taps that dripped

continuously but not quite as

badly as they had done previously;

toys that were really

broken, held together by all

sorts of tape and string.

Making do and mending is

good in many ways, certainly

when we compare it to

continuous consumption and

the demand for new stuff.

(Did you read recently that

more than 30% of newly bought clothing isn’t

even worn before being thrown away? Jeez.)

The flipside, though, is that it isn’t very adventurous.

Interpreted wrongly, it’s an invitation to

put up with everything as it is; just keep the old

stuff going.

This month’s magazine is Beside. It’s subtitled

‘Nature and Culture’ and its pages are embodied

with optimism because ‘…we face our real

challenges now. Experts in

the field no longer know

how to convince us the environmental

crisis is real, and

catastrophe is imminent’.

Put simply, nature can’t

afford for us to make do and

mend. It requires new ideas

and new solutions to get us

to the point where catastrophe

is averted. This issue

of Beside looks at what that

might mean. It has features

on designs for sustainable

cities, farming on a human

scale, aquaponics, nurturing

our best qualities, adopting rivers and more. All

of them touch on not simply accepting what we

have and repairing it so that it still sort of looks

like a sock, but doing things differently so we can

realign all the endless tinkering that has gone on

as we have complacently tried to simply ‘make

do’. For nature’s sake, we need to have bigger

goals than ‘making do’ will ever allow us.

Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton

TOILET GRAFFITO #50

This is one of the most overused misquotes of

all time. Gandhi’s original message was a little

more complicated but doesn’t make for a very

catchy bumper sticker or toilet wall wisdom, so,

we’ll go with this version for now. If we don’t

‘be the change’ soon, it might be too late.

But where is it?

Last month’s answer: Presuming Ed

....25....


INTERVIEW

..........................................

Photo by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com

....26....


INTERVIEW

..........................................

MYbrighton: Claire Potter

Circular economy designer and campaigner

Are you local? Yes, born and bred in Brighton.

I went to school at Blatchington Mill, and

studied interior architecture at the University

of Brighton. I lived in the French Alps for five

months after uni but I’ve been here ever since.

What do you do now? I wear many hats, but

they’re all based around circular economy

design. In short, that means something that is

regenerative by design. Like in nature; there is

no waste, everything feeds into another process

creating balance across the biosphere. Our design

studio work is based around materials and how

we can better utilise what we’ve got, designing

products with a second, third and fourth life –

especially within our research area of marine

plastics. I also teach on the Product Design

course at the University of Sussex and I’m a

regional rep for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

How is Brighton doing on a sustainability

front? Okay. We’re definitely not the best, and

we’re definitely not the worst. From a policy

perspective, the council are doing some great

things. Time and resources are limited but there

is a lot of movement to make things better.

Recycling rates are slowly improving: we’re up

to 30.4 per cent of domestic waste, but we’re still

way behind places like Yorkshire.

Are there pockets of good practice in

Brighton? We’ve got some forward-thinking

ethical brands and brilliant innovation from

businesses. Hisbe was one of the first to open up

the conversation about reducing plastic waste to

a wider audience and now we have refill centres

like the Wastenot Shop in the Open Market,

Harriots of Hove, and The Store at Five Ways.

Brighton is a bit of a bubble – people are more

concerned about their individual impact and

understanding how their shopping choices can

make a difference – but we could still do better,

especially with summer beach goers.

What can we do as individuals? Five years

ago you had to be a ‘deep greeny’ to be carrying

around a reusable coffee cup: now the majority

of us do it, but we need to be assisted by policy

and businesses. At SAS Brighton and Hove, we’ll

be doing a ‘plastic free basket challenge’, going

to different supermarkets in the city to see if

they offer plastic free options. The more people

call out bad practise, the more retailers will

realise that people are voting with their wallets.

Do you have a favourite place to eat? Silo.

What Doug [McMaster] has done with zerowaste

is pretty revolutionary in the restaurant

industry. I take my students there to learn about

the complexities of the circular economy. Also,

the food is amazing. I go foraging, so I’ve got

a big thing about seasonality, and Silo is really

good at connecting you to what is around at the

time and using things in a resourceful way so

that nothing gets wasted.

Where would you live if you didn’t live here?

I’ve got a big love for Amsterdam, and for

Scandinavian countries. Their love of design

is deeply entrenched and good design is for

everyone, not just those who can afford it. Also,

their deep love of, and connectedness with,

nature is really special.

Interview by Lizzie Lower

clairepotterdesign.com

facebook.com/sasinbrighton

....27....


Spring

Theatre

It's Not A Sprint

Wed 6 & Thu 7 Mar

★★★★ The Scotsman

Baby Face

Fri 8 & Sat 9 Mar

★★★★ The Stage

When Did You

Stop Dancing?

Wed 27 Mar

Denmarked

Fri 5 & Sat 6 Apr

★★★★ Londonist

Baby Face © Daniel Hughes


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

Kittie Kipper

Caroline Bond is weaving the seas clean

Seaford-based artist/activist

Caroline Bond weaves

discarded ghost nets and

other marine debris into

useful and beautiful things,

posting her creations (and

suggestions for living a more

sustainable lifestyle) on her

Instagram feed

@kittiekipper.

I started the ghost net

weaving after seeing some

bowls from Sierra Leone

that were woven from

plastic bags. I’d been beach

cleaning for years and I thought, ‘instead of putting

this stuff in the bin, I could make things with it’.

Then the supermarkets brought in the charge for

plastic bags and it was amazing how quickly the

bags disappeared from the beaches. But I was still

finding loads of discarded ghost nets and fishing

wire, so I started working with that.

The artwork is a conversation starter and

an introduction to my way of thinking. I

explain about the ghost nets, why I choose to use

them and what damage they are doing to ocean

animals. I didn’t want to just make stuff that

looked nice, I wanted people to have a reaction

to it and talk about the bigger picture. I started

posting what I was making on Instagram but

the more beach cleaning I did and the more I

changed my choices, I thought it was time to start

talking about that too.

I do two beach cleans a day. At Seaford Beach,

Hope Gap or Tide Mills, mostly when I’m out

with the dog, but I litter-pick whenever I leave

the house. I find balloons on the beach every day.

Many are from McDonalds or from corporate

events, so I can track how far they have travelled.

I’ll contact the companies

but it’s very hard to speak to

someone who can do anything

about it. You get passed from

person to person, but it all

helps. It’s about constantly

turning up, being present,

nudging.

Beach cleaning and litter

picking have changed every

aspect of how I live my

life. When I realised that

the products I was putting

in my shopping basket were

reflected in the rubbish I was

putting into my beach-clean bag, I realised that I

needed to take responsibility for my choices as a

consumer. It’s grown from there.

I’m a big advocate of menstrual products

being reusable, washable or made from

natural materials. I find plastic tampon

applicators on the beach everyday and, despite

the local sewage works telling me it’s impossible,

still they are there. They could be coming from

anywhere. I find shotgun cartridges from Canada,

all sorts of stuff from all over the place.

Simple changes really help. Like carrying your

own reusable coffee cup. If everyone did that,

it would make a massive difference. Likewise, if

you’re offered a plastic straw, get into the mindset

of asking yourself ‘do I really need it?’ If you do,

that’s fine. People don’t want to hear that they’re

doing something wrong but our dependence on

plastic has really snuck into our culture. Making

something that we can’t get rid of and that you

see discarded everywhere, it’s actually terrifying.

As told to Lizzie Lower

Watch Caroline’s talk from TEDxBrighton 2018

at ted.com

....29....


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

Images by Caroline Bond @KittieKipper

....30....


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

@linda_eco_design dress @kittiekipper headdress @fathomsfree model/materials for dress

@fmimages_ photographer @clairswinscoestudiocouture hair @rebeccarosemua makeup

....31....


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

....32....


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

....33....


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PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

....35....


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COLUMN

...........................................

John Helmer

In Bray

Freddy’s got trouser problems. They need

stitching, but my wife doesn’t seem in the mood.

“Mums don’t do stuff like that anymore,” I tell

him. Unfairly, since Kate occasionally does get

out her sewing box – but just at the moment

she has a lot on. The entire family is about to

decamp to County Wicklow for a wedding

(which is why Freddy needs to get his suit

trousers stitched) and the week following she

will be undergoing a ten-hour reconstruction

operation to put everything back in place after

breast cancer. Making the whole subject of

stitching a rather sore point.

However, Freddy seems to have solved his

problem by the time he joins us, freakishly early

next morning, to get a cab to Gatwick. “I flew to

Belfast from Gatwick once,” says the mother-inlaw;

“years ago, when it was all corrugated iron

sheds and Lloyd loom chairs. We were parked

on the runway for hours because a

couple of stupid people had got

on the wrong plane by accident.

Turned out it was us, my mother

and me. We’d accidentally

boarded a plane for Barbados.”

At Gatwick we join up with my

sister-in-law’s family, and suddenly

we are thirteen. There is always

a lot of mustering and milling

about with such a big party and

lots of ‘where’s Kevin?’ jokes.

Also, you have to take a no-frills

airline – whose seatbacks, as

Harvey points out, are designed

to be deliberately uncomfortable

so that you can be sure you’re

getting your non-money’s worth.

When at lunchtime we finally barrel into a

restaurant on the seafront at Bray, where we are

staying, the waitress turns white. “Do you have

a reservation?”

“No.”

They used to call Bray the Brighton of Ireland,

apparently. Its mile-long prom has at one end

a house owned by Oscar Wilde’s parents and

at the other a more modest dwelling lived in

by James Joyce as a child. At about the midway

point we pass the Hotel Ulysses, named for

Joyce’s famous literary work.

“I read Ulysses once when I was in Barbados,”

says the mother-in-law.

I do a double take. “Was this when you got

on that plane for Belfast which turned out

to be a plane to Barbados,” I ask, “or another

occasion when you deliberately took a plane to

Barbados?”

“I had to read it aloud to try and

make sense of it,” she continues.

“Luckily the air conditioning

was so noisy my husband didn’t

notice.”

Having dined at Box Burger we

barrel into the pub for a bout of

‘Bovril and Banjos’. Don’t mention

the word craic. No, please. Just

don’t.

“Are you nervous?” I ask my wife

late in the evening.

“About the wedding?” She is

doing the flowers.

“About the operation.”

“Of course. But just think, when

it’s all done, and the stitches are

out – I’ll be mended.”

Illustration by Chris Riddell

....37....


ethical and eco-friendly

hairdressing


COLUMN

...........................

Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

“Do you want some water?”

The voice is kind, soothing. For

a moment I think, ‘Yes, how

lovely,’ and smack my lips. Then

I open my eyes and realise,

there’s no water, because no

one’s talking to me. The world

is celestially bright, a blurry blue

curtain beside me, where some

other lucky soul is being looked

after. But that’s ok, I think,

happily, because I’m alive.

I’m in day surgery, an unnaturally white building

somewhere in Sussex. And it was my first time.

I’d been an anaesthesia virgin.

Over the last few months I scared myself silly

with never-ending ‘what-ifs?’. So dread-filled was

I by the concept of forced unconsciousness that

once, while describing my fears to a friend, I told

her that I was being “put down”, which caused

mild alarm.

I also made the mistake of reading the diary of

a junior doctor (something to do with being

forewarned). Terrible idea. It spewed all sorts of

gore and horror through my mind as my eyes

sped over the words. One anecdote involved a

lady having surgery after years of abdominal

discomfort. When the doctor opened her up,

there was a teaspoon nestled in her tummy. It had

fallen in during a previous operation. One that

took place 40 years prior.

This was all compounded by the handy manual

they gave me a week before the operation, You

and Your Anaesthetic. Obviously I read it cover

to cover, including the graph that highlights

the likelihood of certain events occurring while

you’re under. Death, for example, is a five in

a million chance. Tongue

damage, memory loss: 1 in 100.

But what worried me the most

was only a little further down

the list.

“Any questions?” The

anaesthetist looked trustworthy

enough, so I risked it.

“Yes,” I cleared my throat.

“What if I wake up?”

There’s a smidge of a smile on

her face. “You won’t wake up,”

she said, somewhat ominously.

Not long later, when they wheel me into the

blindingly white pre-theatre, one of the guys

in the masks jabbing me with a needle casually

remarks, “I hear you’re worried about waking

up.” He and the other doctors can barely contain

themselves. Apparently this is an amusing

question. I’m not amused. I’ve read the stupid

leaflet and it says there’s a chance.

Anyway, here I am, alive, and thrilled to be so,

thinking about Luther and his fabulous coat.

The odds worked in my favour because I don’t

remember anything, including the plot of the last

season. An extremely wonderful woman comes by

and gives me a straw. Nothing has ever made me

happier in my life than drinking water from this

straw that someone else is holding for me. ‘I’m so

happy’, I think.

Then, with a sparkle of growing lucidity, it dawns

on me that I’m not talking in my head, but aloud.

“Do you think you could manage some food? A

sandwich, or biscuits?”

“I’m in love with egg sandwiches.” I love

everything really. They should definitely put this

side effect in the leaflet.

....39....


Award-winning independent

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Exploring the State of the World’s Plants

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For details visit kew.org/wakehurst

Image © Michael Rasmussen


COLUMN

.........................

Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

“I’m staying in a hotel. The pin that joints the

arm of my glasses to the frame has fallen out.

How do I fix them?”

I pose this riddle to my elderly parents who love

puzzles.

It’s part of their ‘staving off dottiness’ plan which,

fingers crossed, to date has worked well. They are

both approaching ninety. Their bodies are frail

but their minds as sharp as ever.

My mother used to work for GCHQ and can still

pass their test with flying colours.

I’ve just tried out a few ancient Mesopotamian

and Babylonian lateral thinking questions on my

dad, taken from the Penguin Book of Puzzles. The

Riddle of the Sphinx – What walks on four legs

in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in

the evening?

“That’s easy. Man, because he crawls as a baby,

walks upright in life and uses a stick towards the

end of it.”

Dad’s right, allowing for the fact there were no

Zimmer frames in 5th century BC but my more

contemporary broken spectacle conundrum

stumps them.

“I use something you find in a hotel room,” I give

a clue.

“The needle from the sewing kit,” says my father.

“You push it in and snap the end off, using the

soap dish for leverage.”

It’s a possible solution but not the one I came up

with.

“You sewed them back together?” suggests my

Mum.

Again…

“I used something you find by the telephone,” I

tell them.

Mum suggested I tore a strip off the notepad and

wedged it in the pinhole.

Dad thinks I did the same with the nib of the

ballpoint pen.

“No, but you’re warmer.” I’m enjoying this game

and it’s staving off dementia in the process. Win

win.

I tell them about my friend, George Egg, another

North Village inhabitant who tours the country

with his comedy cooking shows. What began as

a means of defying expensive room service and

feeding himself while staying in hotels on the

comedy tour circuit has now turned into a whole

new career. He can fry eggs on hotel irons, make

bread using the light bulb and toast sandwiches

in a trouser press.

There’s no end of possibilities in a hotel room, as

long as you have an eye for them.

“It did involve the pen,” I tell my parents. “And it

has to be one with a retractable nib.”

“We give up,” both parents chorus in unison.

“I uncoiled the spring,” I tell them. “And

threaded it through the hole where the pin goes,

then round the clasp so the arm didn’t wiggle too

much.”

“Ah. Very ingenious,” my mother says very

crossly.

“You ought to buy a couple of those cheap

pairs of reading glasses and take them with you

when you’re away,” says my father, determined

to win this exchange somehow, even if it means

committing the cardinal sin of his generation –

buying something new, when fixing something

old would do.

....41....


MUSIC

..........................

Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene

SJ BRETT

Wed 6th, Hope & Ruin, 7.30pm, £5

Once the singer of local indie

stalwarts Mojo Fins, Stephen

Brett is now going it alone – at

least in name. He’s actually got

a band with him (including

Lamb’s Oddur Runarsson) for this benefit gig

to raise funds and awareness for Brighton-based

charity, Grassroots Suicide Prevention. SJ Brett

makes reflective and mellow guitar music, not

too far removed in style from that of his erstwhile

outfit. Sonic Summer Pudding are on the bill as

well, bringing Rickenbackers and flutes to bear on

their variation of 60s psychedelic pop. As a curveball

treat the night also features magician Caspar

Thomas (whom you probably saw on a hoarding

at the station during Brighton Fringe last year).

DIRTY WHITE FEVER

Sun 17th, Green Door Store, 7pm, free

After a relatively quiet

year, during which guitarist

Dominic Knight

moved away to Bristol,

Dirty White Fever are

back in their old stomping

ground for another evening of blistering blues

rock. That one of them had a stint in 80s Matchbox

B-Line Disaster should come as no surprise

to those who’ve heard this duo’s sludgy killer riffs.

The vocals are equally striking, with Knight coming

on like a wounded Jim Morrison while bandmate

Leon Holder punishes his drums, managing

to slip a few hip hop beats in between blasts of

Stooges-style rock. Support comes from Electric

Retro Spectrum and Grand Guru.

ARXX

Thu 28th, Prince Albert, 7pm, £4

Brighton ‘gal pal duo’

Arxx have been making a

lot of noise lately, especially

since the release of their

Daughters of Daughters

EP in February last year.

Behind the lo-fi aesthetic

of their instantly compelling garage rock lurks a

songwriting instinct which perhaps owes as much

to classic pop as it does to riot grrrl. The sound

of pounding drums and distorted guitar is topped

with fabulously versatile vocals, flipping from

soulful to punky before a verse is out. This Brighton

show is the final leg of an eight-date headline

tour, but they’re only back for a week before

setting off to support Tunbridge Wells trio Lady

Bird for another bunch of dates around the UK.

ABATTOIR BLUES

Fri 29th, Green Door Store, 7pm, £7/6

Abattoir Blues announced

they were splitting up late

last year so this is your

final chance to catch the

Brighton five-piece in action.

Despite taking their name from the title of a

Nick Cave album, the band draw more from the

heavy side of 80s post-punk, with tracks about political

crisis and mental health delivered with a kind

of emo intensity. In the past they’ve shared musicians,

producers and even houses with members of

The Magic Gang, Sulky Boy and Birdskulls. We

wouldn’t be surprised to see some of Abattoir Blues

crop up in a related project, or to find one of those

bands playing support at this farewell show.

....43....


THEATRE

.............................

Noughts and Crosses

An imperative project

Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre, Esther

Richardson, got off to a strong start directing

their popular production of Brighton Rock last

year. Her next project, an adaptation of Malorie

Blackman’s novel Noughts and Crosses, is heading

to the Theatre Royal Brighton this month: we

spoke to Esther ahead of the run.

Noughts and Crosses is set in a segregated

society, which is a fictional dystopian version

of the UK. The story is very similar to Romeo

& Juliet: it’s a love story. It’s about a boy called

Callum, who is a Nought, and the Noughts in

this segregated society are white people. He’s

grown up with a Cross, who is a black girl

called Sephy. The Crosses are the dominant

culture and they happen to be black. It’s a really

exciting story: there’s high drama in it.

Putting it on stage is quite challenging

because there’s just so many events. It’s so

tightly and brilliantly plotted in the original

that we felt that we needed to just embrace

that and go for it. To trust in the story, trust

in its wonderful structure, and try to find a

way through the form of theatre to make that

live on stage and feel like you’re kind of on a

rollercoaster.

What’s been brilliant about the younger

performers is that they’re so keyed into the

themes of the book, politically especially.

This new generation – people in their twenties

and teenagers – are really aware of these kind

of topics around privilege. They’re aware of

identity politics, whereas older generations

are still learning about this stuff. And then we

have four seasoned professional actors, who

have a special skill in understanding how to

make a show like this, such as how to be playful

and create a performance that might be based

Photo by Robert Day

....44....

around multiple characters.

What surprised me, or what I was awoken,

to was how important this book is to young

black women. I felt that the starting point was

to tour the play around the regions, because it’s

an important text to awaken you to your white

privilege. It’s equally important to young black

people, and young black women in particular.

When we announced it on Twitter, the vast

majority of people who were getting hugely

excited about it were black women aged about

18 to 35. The penny really dropped about how

important it was to that audience.

I’ve been Artistic Director of Pilot since

August 2016, and if you cast your mind back

that was that annus horribilis year of Brexit,

Jo Cox being murdered and the election of

Trump. A quite extraordinary series of events,

all within about four months. After the Brexit

vote, it seemed like overnight the xenophobic

and racist attacks [rose]: it’s like the lid was

taken off some very dark aspects of British

identity behaviour. I’d already mooted the idea

in my interview of doing Noughts and Crosses

[before those events], but as that year went on it

became more and more relevant. It’s imperative

that we do this project as soon as we can.

As told to Joe Fuller

Theatre Royal, 19th – 23rd, 2.30pm/7.45pm


DANCE

.............................

The Hiccup Project

Lovely Girls

“It had been happening ever

since Chess [Dillon-Reams]

and I started working together,”

explains Cristina MacKerron,

the other half of Brighton

comedic-dance company The

Hiccup Project. “We would go

to teach a workshop and we’d

be introduced as ‘the lovely

Hiccup girls’. As an established

company, about to take charge

in front of a group of teenagers,

it felt a bit odd.” They felt they should probably

question it. But then, she adds: “We didn’t want

people to think we weren’t lovely.”

It’s these awkward, hard-to-articulate

contradictions so particular to the female

experience that inform their new show Lovely

Girls. They list a few others: ‘Have sex and be

sexy, but don’t be a slut. Strive for a good career,

but make time for everyone else. Be curvy, but

not fat. Be assertive, but not bossy’. The pair

had noticed how these confusing messages were

impacting on the women they worked with

in schools and universities: “Our work tends

to be quite physical and sweaty – we’ll stick

our tongues out and jump around. The boys

were immediately comfortable being loud and

exploratory but it would take the girls a lot

longer to get to that point. It was like they felt

they would be breaking a code. They would

make comments about other people judging

them, about feeling repulsed by their own

‘gross’ bodies.”

Chess and Cristina understood why it was hard

for the girls: “We’re older than them but we’d

often felt caught up in similar issues.” Making

the show was an attempt to dissect these

internal conflicts and question some of their

own behaviours and beliefs

at the same time. As Chess

explains: “All our shows have

come from the struggles we’ve

felt in our personal lives and as

women.” Alongside the more

serious themes, however, there

is a fair amount of tomfoolery.

“Comedy has always come

naturally. It’s just what’s inside

us.” That playfulness found

an outlet when, after years of

moving in the same after-school dance circles

then flat-sharing during their training at The

Northern School of Contemporary Dance, the

pair started working together in 2014. “It was

only when we came back to Brighton that we

were able to bring the stuff we were talking

about as friends into the studio. By then we

shared a level of trust and closeness that enabled

us to take risks together.”

Their first show, May-We-Go-Round received

the Pebble Trust Award in 2015 and went

on to tour nationally, while second show It’s

okay, I’m dealing with it premiered at Brighton

Fringe 2016 before being redeveloped and

showcased at Brighton Festival the following

year. Lovely Girls comes to The Old Market

as part of the venue’s Reigning Women season.

“We have struggled with putting it under the

umbrella of ‘women’s work’ because what if

it’s just work that’s brilliant? Why does it need

to be labelled like that? But female makers,

directors and choreographers haven’t had as

much opportunity as their male counterparts so

of course it’s great that there are platforms like

this. It’s one of those contradictions we’ve been

struggling with…” Nione Meakin

The Old Market, 29th, 7.30pm

....45....


PETER ANDRE

Wed 13 Mar

PAUL CARRACK

Sat 16 Mar

LEGENDS LIVE

Sun 7 Apr

UB40 FT ALI & ASTRO

Mon 8 Apr

box office 0844 847 1515 *

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*calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone

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SUNDAY 3 MARCH 2.45PM

BARRY WORDSWORTH

Conductor

MENDELSSOHN

The Hebrides

(Fingal’s Cave)

COATES

London Suite

(London Everyday )

TCHAIKOVSKY

Capriccio Italien

Plus works by

ALFVÉN, LYADOV,

HONEGGER AND

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Tickets from £12.50-£39.50

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(01273) 709709

brightondome.org

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DANCE

.............................

Blak Whyte Gray

Transporting the audience

Blak Whyte Gray is a

tantalising intersection

of hip hop and dance.

Mikey J Asante’s

music fuses intricately

constructed beats with

ambient soundscapes

redolent of Burial

and Actress, whereas

choreographer Kenrick

‘H20’ Sandy’s CV

includes collaborations with Danny Boyle (for

the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony),

FKA Twigs, Plan B, Dizzee Rascal and more.

Mikey and Kenrick are Co-Artistic Directors of

dance company Boy Blue; we spoke to Mikey

ahead of Brighton Dome’s upcoming Blak Whyte

Gray performance.

Mikey started dancing at the age of five,

and eloquently discusses theatre and dance

throughout our conversation. “Theatre can say

so much more [than music]. When people walk

into that room, they’re giving you license to

transport them. We know that what we’re about

to watch is not real. They’ve paid for their ticket,

sat down and said ‘entertain me, take me to

another space’. Whereas with music you’re in a

sedentary space of listening to what that person

wants to tell you.

“There’s something that’s so powerful about

dance in terms of its visceral/real sense. The way

you can feel and see the moves really transcends

a lot of spaces in a unique way. There’s

something in movement that can say a lot that I

think words can’t.”

Mikey wants people to connect with Boy Blue’s

work from a hip hop perspective, so “people

can start understanding that we’re talking about

Photo by Carl Fox

what’s happening now.

“It’s definitely one of the

youngest art forms even

though it’s in its 40s. I think

all in all, hip hop as an art

form requires you. It’s like

a big sampler, if you’re

making Brazilian hip hop,

Russian hip hop, British hip

hop, it requires your real

energy, your authenticity.”

Mikey’s passion for composition sprung from his

desire to hone the complete experience for the

audience, inspired in part by his love of film. “I’ve

always had that energy of creating something that

has an arc. The natural progression is to want

to be able to control the music itself and not be

bound to searching for songs that already exist.

It starts turning into a desire to manipulate and

control the whole scene.

“When I’m the creative energy behind the

aesthetic, my language is to interpret it and put

it into music. Kenrick might turn around and go

‘maybe we should extend this, maybe we should

put this in a particular format’. Whoever has the

energy, whoever has the right vibe at that time,

we’re running with that.”

One of the most beautiful things about dance

is how movement can combine with music and

lighting to exhilarating effect in the concert hall.

Boy Blue’s collaborative, holistic approach – and

a host of positive reviews – bodes well for any

music fan who might like to try something new.

The soundtrack can be found on Spotify by

searching for BlakWhyteGray, if you’d like to

get a feel for what tones and moods to expect.

Joe Fuller

Brighton Dome Concert Hall, 7th, 7.30pm

....47....


TALK

.............................

Louise Peskett

Brighton’s pioneering women doctors

“I can’t imagine how many

women must have died in

Victorian times, because

they didn’t want to discuss

intimate symptoms with

a male doctor,” says local

historian Louise Peskett.

“Many wouldn’t have even

felt they could take their

clothes off.

“It must have been very

common, though, because these were demure

times, and, until a law was passed in 1876, there

was no provision for women to qualify as doctors.”

Brighton was at the forefront of the movement

of pioneering women doctors, it seems. Hastingsborn

Sophia Jex-Blake, who spent some of her

youth in Brighton, was one of the ‘Edinburgh

Seven’ who started studying medicine at

Edinburgh University in 1869, and went on to

found the first two medical schools for women, in

Edinburgh and London.

One early student in the latter college, from

1890, was Irish doctor Helen Boyle, who moved

to Hove in 1897 with her colleague Dr Mabel

Jones; they set up a practice together in the town.

“Boyle was one of the first people to understand

the correlation between slum dwelling and poor

mental health,” says Louise. “In 1905, she opened

a hospital in Roundhill Crescent for women

with what were then termed ‘nervous disorders’,

and now would be recognised as a wide variety

of mental health issues. This later moved to

Brunswick Place, then New Church Road. The

treatment was way ahead of its time, with patients

encouraged to get involved in practical and

healthy activities, including sea-bathing and walks

on the Downs, to help them get better.” The ‘Lady

Chichester’, as it became

known, ran until 1988.

The two women also

set up the Lewes Road

Hospital and Dispensary

for Women and Children,

with all-female staff. Its

stated remit was ‘To afford

to poor women of Brighton

and the neighbourhood,

the opportunity of free

consultation with Doctors of their own sex’.

One of the doctors there was another early

graduate from the London School of Medicine for

Women, Dr Louisa Martindale. “She was educated

at Brighton High School for Girls, which taught

girls the subjects usually reserved for boys, like

Maths and Science,” says Louise. “After qualifying

she returned to Brighton, and worked at the Lewes

Road Dispensary. In 1920 she was instrumental in

setting up the New Sussex Hospital for Women,

in Windlesham Road, where she held the post of

Chief Surgeon. Later she did invaluable research

on the treatment of cervical cancer, as well as

sexually transmitted diseases”.

Finally, Louise gives a mention to Dr Octavia

Wilberforce, who was disinherited by her extremely

rich parents for insisting on pursuing a medical

career, after being influenced by Louisa Martindale.

She eventually ran a practice in Brighton, and with

the help of American actor and activist Elizabeth

Robins, set up Backsettown, a shelter for ‘exhausted

women’, in Henfield. Alex Leith

Louise Peskett is giving a talk on ‘The Pioneering

Women Doctors of Brighton and Hove’ at The

Keep on March 26th, 5.30pm. Her main source

is Women’s Hospitals in Brighton & Hove, by Val

Brown

Photo of Dr Helen Boyle receiving an award, c1925. From the Lady Chichester Hospital archive held at The Keep

....48....


COMEDY

.............................

Ray Bradshaw

Deaf Comedy Fam

I’m what you call a ‘coda’, a child of

deaf adults. My dad was born deaf and

communicates only through sign language.

My mum lost her hearing as a baby through

measles. Me, my brother and my sister are all

hearing. So we grew up in a hearing world at

school and a deaf world at home.

I’ve been doing stand-up for ten years. In

2015 I did a show at Edinburgh Festival and I

decided to do some with interpreters, mainly so

my mum and dad could come. When I looked

at the programme there was something like

eight or nine interpreted comedy shows in the

whole festival, out of 3,000. So I started doing

my own sign language show, but it was much,

much, much harder than I ever thought it

would be.

Telling jokes in two languages at the

same time is an absolute nightmare. The

structures are very different. In English you

would say “what’s your name?” but in sign

language you’d sign “your name what?” Some

words don’t exist in sign language at all, and

there’s some words in sign language that don’t

exist in English. And you can’t do puns! It’s all

about choosing your words really carefully.

But it’s honestly been the best thing I’ve

ever done in my life. In the time I’ve been

doing it we’ve had just under 700 deaf people

come to their first ever comedy show. There

are little things, like the woman who waited for

me after a show and said it was the first time

in 20 years of coming to Edinburgh that she’d

been able to attend a comedy show on any day

of the week.

I think people are scared to ask questions

about disability for fear of offending. So I

do a Q&A at the end of the shows quite a lot.

The worst question was in Glasgow, where I’m

from, and someone asked: do deaf people wear

hearing aids when having sex? I asked someone

in the front row who was deaf and straight

away, without missing a beat, he replied, “no,

I don’t like hearing fanny farts”. The whole

audience burst out laughing, everyone started

asking questions, and we got the guy up on stage.

I thought my dad was a spy when I was a

kid. There’s a story about that in the show, but

the sign I use for ‘spy’ in Scotland – in England

it means ‘pervert’. Turns out you also get slang

in sign language. So in Bedford all the deaf

people were really confused about why I was

calling my dad a pervert. And I totally didn’t

know about it until after the show. I was like

oh, that joke has a totally different meaning!

The show has won five awards in the last

year. So it is funny. You’ll learn a bit, but more

importantly you’ll have a laugh, you’ll enjoy

it. For me, it’s something I’m really proud of.

Disability has a stigma, and I want people to

know that it’s not like that at all.

As told to Ben Bailey

Brighton Dome, 15th & 16th, 7pm

....49....


THEATRE

.............................

Rosy Carrick

Passionate Machine

It’s a show about time travel, but it’s also about

how we interact with our various past and future

selves on a day-to-day basis. We all navigate these

relationships, whether it’s looking at old photos or

leaving notes to remind ourselves to buy milk or

whatever. The show asks what if that was turned

the other way round? Instead of writing to your

future self, what if you got a note back?

It’s partly a geeky sci-fi adventure caper, and

partly autobiographical. And the line between

those elements becomes very blurred. The

premise of the story is that I’ve received a letter

from my future self who has built a time machine

and gone back to the 1920s in order to save the

Russian revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky

from committing suicide. That Rosy got stuck

there in the past – so now it’s down to me to save

her. And I’m trying to work out how to do this

seemingly impossible job on the basis of the time

travel films I grew up watching, with the help of a

scientist that I meet on Gumtree.

Vladimir Mayakovsky was an avant-garde poet

who committed suicide in 1930. I came across

his poem A Cloud in Trousers in 2007 and it was

just the most incredibly beautiful thing I’d ever

read. So that led me to want to study Russian,

and I ended up writing a PhD on his poetry. And

I was talking to my friend James about it, and he

said ‘look Rosy, what you need to do is make a

time machine, go back to the second he’s about to

shoot himself and whisk him back here – he can

live out the rest of his life with us in the future,

and he can help you with your PhD!’

I used to write letters to myself as a child.

There was always this sense of faith in the future

and I was very inquisitive about what my future

self was doing. I found an old diary of mine and

there are tiny things I’d completely forgotten

about. I was in a really bad space, so I think I was

sort of looking for answers in a future self that

didn’t exist yet. I couldn’t help but go back into

that diary and write a response, 20-something

years later.

The show is very silly and funny, and strange

and interesting in lots of ways, but it’s also very

optimistic, and empowering. It’s about recognising

your own agency. It won an award in

Edinburgh, but performing it every night was a

strange, isolating experience and I thought I’m

really glad this isn’t a show all about suicide... it’s

about prevailing, and being proud and good to

yourself.

When terrible things happened in the past

you’d want to go back and say don’t worry, it

will all be okay, but actually I think part of what

the show is about is acknowledging that it’s okay

to not be able to go back. The very fact of still

existing and forging forward into the world is

enough of a message. As told to Ben Bailey

The Old Market, 17th, 7.30pm

....50....


THEATRE

.....................

£¥€$

Empathy for the devil

Photo: Michael Devijver

Exploring the themes of banking and the

mysteries of the world’s wealthiest 1% through

an immersive casino-style environment, £¥€$

(LIES) is a hearty combination of thoughtprovoking

and gambling. We spoke to Angelo

Tijssens, who wrote and developed the show

with his colleagues in Belgian theatre company

Ontroerend Goed, ahead of their performances

at the Attenborough Centre.

We began thinking about the show during

the financial crisis of 2006-2008, because it

feels like it’s something so large and vast that

you can’t seem to be able to grasp it. Therefore

you don’t understand it, therefore something

is wrong, so all bankers are criminals and they

should all be hanged.

We started studying and soon we learned

that the idea of debt is not something that

was invented by an angry banker in 1972: it’s

older than the written word. The idea of ‘if you

owe me this, I owe you that’, and that creates

trust, and peace even, between people, between

tribes, between nations.

It would have been lazy and cheap and easy

to make a show about bankers where we all

wear the same dark blue or grey pinstripe

suits pretending to snort cocaine, talking

rubbish about the people. But we’ve seen that

and that’s already how we imagine it to be – I

think everyone, except for the bankers. We

thought that it would be much more interesting

to use that very powerful tool of empathy and

put our audience members on the 1% seat.

They’re normally the ones trying to look in or

up to the 34th floor of a very large and concrete

building, but what if you put them there, give

them the same tools, let them handle it. We’ve

played the show over 200 times already, the

result isn’t that different: we all like to play

with money.

Audience members are separated when

they come in. There are seven people

around one table, which might resemble a

blackjack table but isn’t. You’re there, if all

goes well, with six complete strangers and

you all become banks. Instead of being Joe,

you become the Bank of Joe, or the Royal

Bank of Joe if you’re the richest. Each table is

a metaphor for a nation: all tables combined

become a European Union, or a World Trade

Organisation.

It’s a show where you as an audience

member have a lot of power because we give

it to you. But we don’t expect you to make the

show, we already did that for you. Even though

you’re very involved in playing the game with

us and playing the show with us, you’re still an

audience member.

We’ve had people who were very loud about

how money is not really their kind of thing.

Give us an hour and a half and they’ll be

shouting for government bonds and complex

financial structures by the time the lights go

out. It’s so human to want that and to want

to engage in that. That winning rush is so

powerful that almost every audience member

gets drawn into it. As told to Joe Fuller

ACCA, 13th to 15th, 6pm/9pm

....51....


Contemporary

British Painting and

Sculpture

We look forward to welcoming

you to our gallery in Hove.

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Mon—Sat 10.30am—5pm

Sunday/bank holidays 12pm—5pm

Closed Tuesday

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Discounted parking

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just £6 between 1-6pm

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Tickets from £12.50-£39.50

50% student/U18 discount

Brighton Dome Ticket Office

(01273) 709709

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University of Sussex, Gardner Centre Road, Brighton BN1 9RA


ART

.............................

Nigel Cooke

Painter’s Beach Club

One of the big themes of Nigel Cooke’s massive,

multi-layered paintings is journeys, so there’s

something apt about the way he’s come full circle

with his latest show, Painter’s Beach Club, on

at Jerwood Gallery in Hastings till March 24th.

“I graduated in 1994 with a friend of mine, and

another friend had a shop space he said we could

use, on the sea front in Hastings, and we put

on an exhibition that nobody saw. I hadn’t been

back since.”

Twenty-five years on, Nigel’s on the phone from

his studio in Kent, which his architect-wife

purpose-designed for him, enabling him to work

on up to eight canvases – each of which is over

two by two metres – at a time. “There’s a gallery

at the front, where I can look at the work away

from all the clutter,” he tells me.

“You’d like to think that the perfect space would

lead to you getting things together on every

level, that life would become more cerebral,

ethereal, clean…” he continues. “But life’s still

messy, and you’re still you. It’s like when you go

on holiday, the surroundings might change but

you’re still the same person.”

Perhaps such ‘messiness’ is necessary for his

art to work. Every frame he paints, he says, is a

journey into the unknown. “When you start to

paint, you’re looking into the future, trying to

reach a distant point, and you don’t know what

that is until you get there. In every painting

there needs to be tension, discordance, conflict.

The deliverance has to be double-handed. There

must be an element of antagonism. Otherwise a

painting is just an illustration.”

The paintings all have a subject, of course, but

Indian Summer, 2015, © Nigel Cooke, Courtesy Pace Gallery

that is only a starting point. “A red herring, just

an excuse to get started. The true subject of

the painting is the painting itself. If you look

at Velazquez or Rubens you can see that the

application transcends the image and becomes

the reality.”

He listens to audio books, while he’s working

(currently Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections)

“more for the rhythm of the sentences than the

meaning of the words.” He loves writing, and

wishes that it was as easy to “harvest disparate

information” in the same way on the canvas, as

you can on the page. “Rothko and Rembrandt

are two very distinct things which can’t work

together visually. I’m trying to create a place

where they can.”

He’s also influenced by cinema – he cites

Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster as a favourite,

for the way the “deliberately dreadful deadpan

dialogue” consciously and “upsettingly” jars with

the cinematic beauty of the images. But most of

all, of course, he’s influenced by other painters.

Velazquez comes up a few times. “If you put

Bacon, Picasso, Velazquez and Clifford Still into

a blender”, he tells me, at the end of our conversation,

“you’d get one of mine coming out of the

other end.” Alex Leith

Painter’s Beach Club runs alongside Telescope,

featuring twenty artists Nigel has encountered

through Instagram, Jerwood Gallery, till Mar 24th

jerwoodgallery.org

....53....


EXHIBITION

.............................

Stephen Jones

Hats at the Royal Pavilion

The Mad Hatter 2013 and hat for Thom Browne AW14 in the Kitchen

If hats could talk, one can only

imagine the conversations

that might take place between

those currently on display in

the Royal Pavilion’s Banqueting

Hall. The 26 ‘seated’ at

the banqueting table where

the Prince Regent once hosted

his lavish dinner parties are

– but for one – all the work

of Stephen Jones, a milliner

whose list of famous clients

would stretch all the way down

Madeira Drive.

In this particular exhibit, the

centrepiece of a spectacular

career-spanning retrospective,

Tilda Swinton (or her headpiece,

at least) mingles with

Cindy Crawford; Lady Gaga

could swap gossip with Princess

Diana, and Mick Jagger

share a drink with Kate Moss.

At the head of the table, of

course, sits Prinny himself, in

a felt hat Jones copied from his

painting at the National Portrait

Gallery. The only person

not represented by a Stephen

Jones hat is Jones himself,

who has chosen instead his

grandfather’s top hat: “I have

a rather strange head shape,”

he explains, “and obviously it

comes from him because it fits

me perfectly.”

The exhibition, staged in partnership

with Harvey Nichols

and seven years in the making,

spans a career of nearly four

decades, from Jones’ early days

partying with – and making

hats for – Boy George at

London’s legendary Blitz Club

through his collaborations

with designers including Dior,

Giles Deacon and Comme des

Garcons up to more recent

creations for devoted fans such

as Lady Gaga, who loved the

huge, pink, feather-trimmed

All images © Tessa Hallmann/Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

....54....


(left to right) Mannequin reclining on the stairs wearing Giles Deacon AW 2012, Stephen Jones in the Banqueting Room of the Royal Pavilion holding

‘Sandcastle’ and ‘Mermaid’ from his Chinoiserie on Sea collection inspired by Brighton and the Royal Pavilion, S/S 2012,

Headdress worn by Kylie Minogue for Sydney Mardi Gras 2012, designed by Stephen Jones.

hat he made for her so much

it was the only thing she chose

to wear when she appeared on

the cover of Vogue in 2012. “Of

course, I didn’t know she was

going to wear it naked but I

suppose she had just worn the

dress made of meat…”

Jones’ relationship with

Brighton began many years

previously, in his imagination.

“I’m from the Wirral Peninsular,

which is basically a sand

dune in the middle of the Irish

Sea and even on an August day

it’s a force 10 gale and freezing.

To me, Brighton was like the

Riveria or Mustique or somewhere

like that. In my imagination

it was in the deep south,

warm and welcoming, artistic

and creative – all those things

the Wirral Peninsula was not.”

In 2012 he spent an extended

period in the city researching

Chinoiserie-on-Sea, a collection

of hat designs inspired, in part,

by the Pavilion.

Pieces from that collection

are among upwards of 160

hats now on display in rooms

throughout the seaside pleasure

palace. “I’ve always loved

the Pavilion,” he says. “Apart

from all the crazy Chinoiserie

– which has absolutely

nothing to do with the real

China – what I love is that it’s

such a celebration of shape

and colour. Everything it represents,

all that extravagance

and exuberance, I’m absolutely

attracted to.”

Exhibiting in such opulent

surroundings was a new

experience for Jones, who is

more used to showing his work

on catwalks or in white-wall

galleries including the V&A

and New York’s Metropolitan

Museum of Art. “If you’re

showing hats in a gallery you

have to create themes or chronology.

If you’re showing hats

in the Pavilion, well, you have

to just go with it,” he laughs.

Nione Meakin

Royal Pavilion, until June 9

Hat worn by Victoria Beckham designed by Stephen Jones 2008

....55....


ART

....................................

ART & ABOUT

In town this month...

Siddharth Gadiyar is an artist with autism who makes paintings

at Project Art Works – an artist-led studio for people with

complex support needs, in Hastings. This month a solo

exhibition of his large-scale Mandala paintings opens in his

home town, Brighton. The striking display of paintings will

be accompanied by a video of the making process, which his

mother Susmitha describes as transformative: ‘Sid is calm

and focused when he is making work at Project Art Works.

Art and painting have such a huge, tremendous, positive

impact on his otherwise chaotic, challenging and complex

world of Autism.’ Opening at Phoenix Brighton on the 23rd of

March and continuing until the 21st of April.

Sea of Dreams by Colleen Slater

An exhibition of work by members of the

Brighton & Hove Camera Club continues at

Jubilee Library until the 12th of March. There

will be 70 images on display, demonstrating the

scope and range of the club’s photographers

and their diversity of interests. Founded in

1891, the club has upwards of 120 members

of all ages and with various levels of ability.

They meet regularly on Tuesday evenings in

Portland Road to talk all things photographic,

with a programme of guest speakers,

competitions and helpful advice and critique to

improve your photography both creatively and

technically. If you’d like to find out more about

the club, you can join for an evening or two for

£3 a session. bhcc-online.org

Photo by Paul Boyland

There’s more

photographs at the

Booth Museum

with an exhibition

of finalists from the

Sussex Wildlife Trust

photographic competition 2019. Showcasing

some of our diverse British wildlife and local

landscapes in twelve stunning photographs

that together make up the charities’ 2019

calendar. Admission is free.

Chapter II continues

at Whistleblower

Gallery in St. John’s

Road, Hove until

the 15th; a selection

of original work

by mainly British

contemporary artists:

Matt Smith, Gary Stranger, Grande Dame,

Anna Barlow, Amy Douglas, Ryan Callanan,

Duncan Weston aka Petro, Christopher

Kettle and Stanley Donwood.

Matt Smith

....56....


ART

....................................

Robert Dukes, Oranges and Quinces. Courtesy of Robert Dukes

Out of town

The second major exhibition opens in the new

Wolfson Gallery at Charleston from the 6th. In

Colour positions the work of former Charleston

residents Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant within

a century of great British colourists. Bell and Grant

were two of the first abstract painters in Britain, but

even when creating figurative and representational

work, the abstract qualities of colour remained

a dominant element. Curated by Vanessa’s

granddaughter, the textile designer Cressida

Bell (something of a colourist herself), the show

includes a wide-ranging and highly personal

selection of works that reflect Cressida’s personal

aesthetic as well as her artistic heritage. Drawing

on loans from private and public collections, works by Eileen Agar, Patrick Caulfield, Robert Dukes,

Mary Fedden, Patrick Heron, Paul Nash, Glyn Warren Philpot, as well as Bell, Grant and Roger

Fry all feature. Continues until the 26th of August.

Surviving or Thriving; an exhibition on plants and us opens

in the Millennium Seedbank Atrium at Wakehurst on the

22nd. Drawing on global research and Kew’s pioneering

annual science reports, this timely exhibition explores the

state of the world’s plants and how they are adapting to our

changing climate. Visit a 2050 garden display to see what a

Sussex garden might look like 30 years from now, learn how

our diet might need to change, and discover what we can do

to help protect and preserve our precious plant resources.

Included with entry to Wakehurst.

By Hayv Kahraman

Displaced Choreographies by Hayv Kahraman is at the First

Floor gallery at the De la Warr Pavilion. This exhibition

of paintings, drawings and sculptural works explores her

experience of living between Western and Middle Eastern

cultures: having fled Iraq with her family aged 11, as part of

the Kurdish mass exodus, the artist migrated to Europe and

now lives in the USA. A female figure recurs in her work,

representing shared histories between women – particularly

women of colour – and building on personal histories of

migration. Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2

continues downstairs.

....57....


Photos by Tom van Deijnen

DESIGN

.............................

Tom of Holland

Visible mending man

“I don’t like it when people refer to my

work as ‘the new make do and mend’ and

variations thereof,” says Tom van Deijnen. “I

choose to mend, I don’t have to make do.”

Tom, aka Tom of Holland, is a Brighton-based

textile artist attracting a huge following

for his unique way of turning flaws

into virtues. “When I repair something…”

he says, dressed in a jumper absolutely

riddled with beautifully darned moth holes,

“it doesn’t matter whether the item was £10

or £100… To me, it’s about the emotional

relationship that someone has with it.”

Growing up in the rural Netherlands, Tom’s

mother was a knitter. His grandparents kept

sheep, and intriguing objects like spinning

wheels and looms, if not in regular use,

were close enough to touch. It’s no surprise,

therefore, that his fascination for textiles,

and particularly wool, is lifelong.

Tom rediscovered knitting as an adult, and

promptly set himself the most complicated

task of making his own socks.

“I put a lot of sweat and tears and cursing

into them,” he explains, “and so I wore them

with much pride… When they started to

develop holes, I thought, this is the time to

learn how to repair properly.”

And so began the Visible Mending Programme.

As Tom struggled to fully disguise

his repairs, he came upon a better solution.

“I thought, if it’s kind of visible anyway,

....58....


DESIGN

.............................

why not flip it around and make it into a

feature?”

Tom now runs his textile business alongside

a four-day office job, and is routinely found

stitching away in his lunch breaks.

He undertakes private commissions repairing

beloved garments. He collaborates

with the likes of Wolf & Gipsy Vintage and

streetwear designer Noki, and he shares his

vast catalogue of skills and techniques at

workshops and by volunteering at Brighton

Repair Café (see pg 71).

“Because I’m used to making my own

clothes,” he explains, “I have a different

relationship with clothing… When I look at

something, I remember when I made it and

what was going on at that time.”

“The repair can highlight that narrative

and add to the history of it. I find that really

interesting, and I like repairing garments

where there are already some repairs, because

it adds layers… It’s a different way of

putting something of yourself into it.”

I ask Tom whether mending is, like kitchen

gardening, something to aspire to, and then

feel bad about when the pace or situation of

life makes it difficult.

“It’s a privilege to have the time to do this

stuff,” he says. “If you make clothes, the

materials you buy are more expensive than

a shirt in a shop. If you’re really conscious

that you only want to use secondhand fabric,

you need to have time to find it. So there’s

a strange dichotomy between the two: the

aspirational, sustainability element, and being

able to do it all and find the time. They

don’t go hand in hand.”

At the end of the day, “it’s about making priorities

about what’s important to you,” says

Tom. “You have to choose the thing you feel

you have the most agency in, rather than try

to fix everything.”

Interview by Chloë King

tomofholland.com

Photos by Tom van Deijnen

....59....


39 Kensington Gardens, North Laine

www.barneysdeli.com


THE WAY WE WORK

This month, Adam Bronkhorst has been out photographing

five professional conservators, restorers and menders.

He asked them: What’s your most challenging project to date?

adambronkhorst.com | 07879 401333

Amy Douglas, Amy Douglas Restoration

“I suppose gilding a ceiling with my neck at 45 degrees... and my car breaking

down packed with Wemyss Ware pottery belonging to Prince Charles.”


THE WAY WE WORK

Chris Littledale, Brighton Toy and Model Museum

‘A large scale 1840s train. The biggest challenge was the conservation

and colour-matching of the fragile, flaking paint.’


THE WAY WE WORK

Nick Williams, The Nick of Time.

“A 175-year-old Longcase clock that had fallen over.

The customer was amazed at the transformation.”


THE WAY WE WORK

Michael Coles, Michael’s Wood Restoration

“A five-storey Regency house in Brighton where I had to hand-strip a staircase with

30 layers of paint on the steps and handrail. It looked great afterwards though!”


THE WAY WE WORK

Kristy Woodruffe, The Keep

“A series of 1940s Woman’s Own magazines. The pages were repaired,

each volume rebound and a separate handmade slipcase was made for each.”


RECIPE

.............................

Photo by Chloë King

....66....


RECIPE

.............................

Carrot Cake

Chris Bailey, Head Chef at Rathfinny Tasting Room

I used to have a Michelin star restaurant in

Winchester called The Black Rat. When I

moved to Brighton, I was working as a private

chef and doing pop-ups, one of which was

here at Rathfinny. I loved the space, and then

they asked me to come and discuss having a

restaurant here. It’s such a beautiful location,

and the people who own it are lovely.

It’s all about the produce, for me. Local

means the closest place I can get the best

quality. People get a bit caught up with ‘on

your doorstep’ which is great, but you have to

remember taste, how it is raised, relationships

with suppliers. That whole farm-to-fork theory

is the way I like to work. It makes me happy to

cook with nice produce, whether it’s a carrot or

some wild teal, like we had in at the weekend. I

use Namayasai farm in Lewes, who have such a

lovely ethos. We use charcuterie from Beal’s at

Devil’s Dyke and I try to integrate the produce

grown here as well.

All the food here is meant to pair with the

wine, so there are things to consider, such as

high acids don’t go well. So far, we’ve taken the

vine leaves from the different grape varieties,

chardonnay and pinot noir, while they’re

young and tender. We use those to wrap things

like scallops before steaming. The leaves have

different flavours and do different things,

much like the grapes.

The wine is pressed here, underneath the

restaurant, so we took the first pressing

straight out at three-days-old and made wine

gums. I like the idea that people can taste the

wine at different stages. We’re pruning at the

moment, so I’ve taken a lot of the wood to dry

and hopefully cook over.

The idea for this dish came from these

amazing heritage carrots from our Scots

supplier. It’s a light carrot cake with white

raisins and a goat’s curd frosting that has a

slight sourness to it. I top the cake with thinlysliced

carrots poached in a meadowsweet syrup

I made last summer. It goes with a roasted

walnut ice cream and meadowsweet carrot

gel atop a gingerbread crumb. It’s not super

technical. At home, you may not have the

meadowsweet, but you can still make the cake,

the frosting, the ice cream. That’s what my

food is about: simple, clean, not lots of aerated

bubbles. It’s about flavour, really.

Ingredients: 125g plain flour, 125g wholemeal

flour, 25g baking powder, 2tsp cinnamon, 1tsp

nutmeg, 100g desiccated coconut, ground, 5

eggs, 260g golden sugar, 175ml pomace oil (or

olive oil), 500g grated red carrots, 100g white

raisins. For the frosting: 125g goat’s curd, 380g

icing sugar, 250g soft butter

Method: To make the cake, line and grease

a 12” tin; whisk up the eggs, sugar and oil

until doubled in volume. Mix the remaining

ingredients into the egg mixture then pour

into the tin and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes.

To make the frosting, whip all ingredients

together thoroughly, not forgetting to let the

cake cool on a wire rack completely before

icing. As told to Chloë King

rathfinnyestate.com/tasting-room

....67....


A-news bouche

The 29th Sussex Beer & Cider Festival is at

Brighton Racecourse this month. Showcasing

upwards of 140 ales and a selection of ciders

and perries, it’s a fine way to drink in a more

eclectic and exploratory manner. There will be

a range of food on offer – including vegetarian

and vegan options – to shore you

up between imbibing, alongside

the typical bar food staples.

Fri 22 – Sat 23 Mar, £3–£8

The

Croque shop

D ELI TO GO

The Foghorn, a recently opened micropub

at 55 Boundary Road, features five cask ales,

three keg beers – including ‘some downright

ridiculous stuff from America’, according to

their website – Sussex-made ciders, wine and

more. Also Hove way, as of 1st March, the

Old Port Cocktail Bar (located next to The

Stoneham at 153 Portland

Road) will have reopened,

with new cocktails and

mixologists to try out.

made in Brighton Sausage rolls

Local Organic Pork sausage meat

Vegetarian and vegan options

9 Duke street Brighton BN1 1AH

www.croqueshop.co.uk

If you’re ready to take your new year’s health

kick to the next level and would like to learn

more about opportunities to build a career

in the field of nutrition, naturopathy, herbal

medicine and homoeopathy, then pop along

to the College of Naturopathic Medicine’s

free open morning. Offering post-graduate,

diploma-level and short courses, it’s a chance to

find out more about what’s involved and to chat

to the Course Consultants.

Visit naturopathy-uk.com to book your place.

Sat, 16 March 2019, 10:30am –

12:30pm, Brighton Aldridge

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FOOD

.............................

Lucky Khao

Peanut, rice & spice

To those who enjoy chasing

the spice dragon, Lucky

Khao offers a tempting new

proposition. A new Northern

Thai barbeque restaurant

that has replaced Pike &

Pine, Lucky Khao plumps

for a combination of cocktail

bar (electronic music, a

smattering of patrons sat

up at the bar, cocktail neon

sign) and more traditional

restaurant (bookings available

in advance and waiter service).

The result is harmonious

however – atmospheric but not overbearing – and

we didn’t feel rushed to order or clear off despite it

being their first ever Saturday night.

The ‘Beer Food’ part of the menu is a collection of

small dishes that we chose to treat as starters, but

food is delivered as and when it’s ready rather than

in a set order. There are then Salad, BBQ, Fish, or

Curry sections to pick’n’mix from as one sees fit,

accompanied by sticky rice or stir-fried local greens.

The BBQ organic pork skewer (£1.90) was sticky

and generously coated in a tangy sauce, whereas

the mackerel betel wrap was fresh and enlivening,

which contrasted nicely with the galangel caramel

in its leaf wrap. Our second betel wrap of sweet

mango, rice and toasted coconut (along with the

Thai favourite, peanut (£1.90)) was sweeter and

more fun however. My dining companion enjoyed

her white turmeric & bamboo larb salad, featuring

lime, vegan soy, kefir, sawtooth and salad leaves

(£5.70), enjoying the crunchy texture and diced

approach that ensured that she picked up a lot of

different flavours, even in smaller mouthfuls.

The attentive waiters noticed me quietly

floundering under a cumulative

spice burden, and I feared

that my greenhorn spicebuds

might let down the Viva reader.

Thankfully not! We were offered

both cow and oat milk to sooth

our frenzied palates.

I was tempted by the Northern

Thai charcoal BBQ chicken,

but instead opted for the local

goat chops. A second recurring

element, toasted rice powder, gave

a nice soft crunch to complement

the gorgeously succulent meat off

the bone (£16). Memorably tasty

and perfectly cooked, the chops were neither too

chewy nor too charred. My guest’s sour aubergine

curry (£9.50) drew praise, reminding her of the Tom

yum she enjoyed during her time in Thailand.

The dessert menu further encourages cocktail

drinking, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic

drinks outnumbering the two food options. I

can happily recommend the coconut ice cream

sandwich, consisting of delicious ice cream on

top of fluffy brioche with a peanut and toasted

rice topping (£5.50). An added bonus of dining in

a venue that is a café by day is that you can have

great coffee for dessert too, a fine sharpener before

braving the elements outside.

Don’t let my spice implosion put you off: it wasn’t

enough to derail my enjoyment. Lucky Khao

offers an enjoyably diverse and affordable menu,

well suited to a punter wanting to try new things.

Furthermore, they clearly have a heartening

understanding of the complementary, joyous

possibilities of peanuts and toasted rice.

Joe Fuller

1d St James’s Street, luckykhao.com

Photo by Nammie Matthews

....69....


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INTERVIEW

.............................

Brighton Repair Café

Mending is on the menu

Photo by Rose Dykins

The Brighton Repair Café,

run by Victoria Jackson

White and Samantha Jarman,

opens its doors once a

month to advise people on

how to extend the life of

their favourite possessions.

Samantha (pictured right) tells

us how it came to be.

Have we all been conditioned by a throwaway

culture? We’ve become so accustomed to

upgrading and buying new devices and objects

even if they are not broken. As consumers, we’ve

been duped into believing we need these new

things or can’t fix things ourselves. Manufacturers

seek ways to thwart us from mending broken

goods. For example, screws that are made

specifically to prevent us from opening devices.

Where did the idea for Brighton Repair Café

come from? Brighton Repair Café (BRC) was

set up in November 2013 in response to learning

about the Dutch Repair Foundation which was

founded in 2010 (repaircafe.org). Victoria and two

friends on the MA in Sustainable Design at the

University of Brighton saw the article in the New

York Times and decided to set one up themselves.

I joined a few months later, and Victoria and I

have been running it ever since. People come

along seeking advice on how best to mend their

cherished posessions or things too expensive to

replace or get fixed commercially. People also

come along because it’s a social, productive and

positive thing to do on a Saturday morning.

Who are your volunteers? We currently have

ten volunteers, all dedicated to supporting the

ethos of reduced waste, Right to Repair and

the empowerment of people to fix their things.

Our volunteers are experts in helping with the

mending of clothes and

textiles, electronic and

electrical goods, bicycles

and furniture. On Facebook,

we let people know in

advance of each event what

we are able to advise on

fixing, depending on the

volunteers available.

Have you seen people’s attitudes change? We

have really noticed a shift in perception over the

last six years of running BRC. As word gets out,

a more diverse range of people are attending

our events. The Right to Repair movement is

gathering momentum, making more people aware

of how difficult manufacturers are making it for us

to repair our things.

What are the most interesting/unusual things

people have brought along? The elastic in an

old pair of knickers! A rat-chewed hoover cable. A

vintage turntable. A beautiful Afghan rug.

Why do you teach people to repair things

themselves? To understand and learn how

something works and how it can be fixed is

incredibly rewarding. It gives people the incentive

and confidence to fix things at home which

helps reduce waste and counteracts the standard

practice of throwing things away. People feel

empowered when they learn how to fix their

things, and this is ongoing, as there is so much to

learn with each object. Interview by Rose Dykins

Brighton Repair Café takes place on the final

Saturday of each month from 10.30am-12.30pm

and will be at the Hanover Centre for the next few

months. If you’re interested in volunteering, please

contact Sam and Victoria via BRC’s Facebook

page or email brightonrepaircafe@gmail.com

brightonrepaircafe.wordpress.com

....71....


FEATURE

.............................

The Green Centre

Sustainability know how hub

The Green Centre began

as a mobile project on

the streets of Brighton

and Hove in 2006,

engaging with the public

to understand their views

on global warming and

climate change.

“From the first time we

went out, people wanted

us to give talks at their schools, their companies;

They were incredibly interested,” explains

founder Melanie Rees. “But we’re also here to

just answer questions. One of the things people

hate is when they feel like they’re being lectured

to about the environment.”

The organisation has spent the past 13 years

bringing global campaigns to Brighton,

educating people through their garden, reuse

shop and recycling programme and playing

a central role in the city’s One Planet Living

sustainable living framework. More recently,

they’ve taken up residence in the Open Market

and are grappling, for the moment, with the

nefarious commodity that has horrified and

shamed people in equal measure: plastic. It’s a

subject Melanie knows well.

“There’s an upsurge in engagement since

Blue Planet, coinciding with negative feelings

about how much plastic Brighton and Hove

City Council recycle – which is currently only

bottles.” The Green Centre has developed their

own plastic guide, but the key, Melanie says, is to

look beyond recycling to reusing and ultimately

to completely refuse the material.

“Recycling plastic is energy-intensive and there’s

not a massive demand for second-hand stocks

but there’s an enormous supply and the Council

Photo by Yanwen Lin

have to pay to have it

taken away. It’s difficult

to manage, so we must

look at our consumption.

We’re creatures of habit

and it takes a massive

change. In my former

role as a special needs

Headteacher, I did a lot

of work on how to change

behaviour, and it’s incredibly difficult.”

In a city with so many events, two universities

and the seaside attracting huge numbers of

tourists, it perhaps makes sense the Council

have focused their energies on the ubiquitous

plastic bottle. But The Green Centre wants to

show people that – with a little effort – there are

plenty of other ways to recycle other items. “You

can recycle plastics 1-5, plus yogurt pots, with

Magpie Recycling, and various supermarkets will

take things like cereal, bread and carrier bags.”

Plus, the Green Centre’s stall is at The Open

Market on Thursdays from 9am-5pm, staffed

by volunteers who’ll take things like crisp

packets, baby and pet food pouches and foil.

It’s the tip of an iceberg but, with every chat

Melanie and the team have, the hope is that

hearts and minds are shifting. The Centre has a

double-decker bus being kitted out for a future

of talks, focus groups and an exhibition of the

One Planet principles. Once it’s on the road, the

conversation could soon be growing louder.

With a little knowhow, explains Melanie, we

can recycle around 75-80% of our waste, “but

you have to do a little work. The key thing is to

change one thing at a time – and we’re here to

help.” Amy Holtz

thegreencentre.co.uk

....72....


WE TRY...

.............................

Cranks

DIY bicycle workshop

Every spring I get my

bike checked out at one

of Brighton’s fine bicycle

shops. And the process costs

me a fair few quid, with

labour costs on top of the

price of all the replacement

parts I usually have to buy.

This year – a little earlier

than normal – I decide to

go to Cranks, which is a

not-for-profit organisation,

run by volunteers, who

encourage you to mend

your own bike – or at least

to stand over them while

they show you how to do

it. But will I get as good a

service? And will it prove

any cheaper?

Their workshop is on Chapel Street, just off

Edward Street, a short freewheel from my house.

Outside there’s a free-to-use hand-pump; inside

there are bikes, and bits of bikes, and neat piles

of tyres, and tools hanging up on the wall, and

oily rags, and all sorts of bike paraphernalia.

I introduce myself to Iain Wilson, who’s been

working there since 2007, soon after Cranks

was founded, after his former colleague Alice

Pickering had seen a similar organisation

operating in Berlin. The modus operandi, he

explains, is simple. Anyone whose bike needs

work can turn up (between 3-7pm on Tuesday,

and 11am-5pm Friday & Saturday). They can

just use the tools at hand, if they know what

they’re doing; if they don’t, the volunteers

will help them. It can get busy, with up to ten

customers working at peak times.

Photo by Alex Leith

The public also donate

bikes, and a team of Cranks

mechanics either service

them and sell them on (for

between £40 and £300), or

they strip them for usable

parts and recycle the rest.

New and used parts sold

are significantly cheaper

than they would be in a

regular shop. And then

there’s the labour charge.

When I ask how much this

costs, Iain smiles. “We ask

for donations: it’s up to the

individual. I’ve been all day

with people who’ve given us

20p; others have left £20 for

a five-minute job.”

He picks up my Marin hybrid – which has plenty

of miles on the clock this year – and clamps it

to a stand, to give it the once over. He hands me

a spanner, and shows me how to stop the mud

guard from rubbing on the back tyre (a blessed

relief) and then I watch as he adjusts the front

and back wheel bearings, which incorporates

a lesson into the magic of how a bike actually

works. Then it’s a quick oil of the chain, and I’m

good to go.

So what’s the damage? Much less than I

normally pay for my springtime service. In fact,

with no parts involved, it’s entirely up to me to

decide. I drop in with a donation the next day,

and also buy a (brand-new) D-lock, on Iain’s

advice, for around half the normal price. AL

22 Chapel Street, 01273 693477

cranks.org.uk @cranksbrighton. Interested in

volunteering? Cranks can train you up.

....73....


The Sustainable Business Partnership

CIC is currently delivering the Utilise

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European Regional Development

Fund. Utilise Plus helps small and

medium sized enterprises to save

money and reduce their impact on the

environment by taking control of their

energy use.

Since launching in 2017, Utilise Plus

has supported over 200 organisations

through a variety of services. These

include fully-funded energy audits

to identify energy- and cost-saving

opportunities in organisations, as well

as networking breakfasts, educational

workshops, ‘Sustainability Tours,’

and grant funding for energy-saving

projects.

Contact them today to find out how an

energy audit can save your organisation

money or to book your place on one

of their exciting events in Lewes and

Brighton.

www.sustainablebusiness.org.uk

01273 964239

info@sustainablebusiness.org.uk

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FEATURE

.............................

Extinction Rebellion

Emergency on planet Earth

Photo by luke@passionworksproductions.com

“I would be scared to

be arrested but I think

it might happen at

some point,” says Hilary

Toope. The 65-yearold

retired headteacher

and grandmother of

three seems an unlikely

person to wind up in

police custody. But as a

member of grassroots

climate change movement

Extinction Rebellion,

which encourages

‘non-violent acts of civil disobedience’, she is

prepared for the possibility. Last November

she was among a group of Brighton residents

who travelled to London to join the ‘Week

of Rebellion’ that followed the formation of

Extinction Rebellion. Thousands of activists

glued themselves to public buildings, blocked

major bridges and disrupted traffic in an attempt

to draw attention to the ‘unprecedented global

emergency’ posed by climate change, and force

the government to take the issue more seriously.

“We have all the knowledge and technology to

change to a zero carbon world but we need to

change the political will of our leaders,” Toope says.

This January, the pensioner joined more than 80

members of the newly formed Brighton branch

of Extinction Rebellion in a ‘die-in’ staged in

the middle of Churchill Square. “It was our

biggest action yet and it was very powerful,”

she explains. “At 3pm, we fell down ‘dead’ on

the floor for eleven minutes to represent the

eleven years we have left to take decisive action

and turn things around.” She says support

for the group has since swelled; around 50

people attend monthly

meetings and they have

nearly 1,000 followers

on their Facebook page.

“We have supporters

from all backgrounds

and ranging in age from

students to older retired

folks like myself. We

are not affiliated to any

political party, there are

no leaders and there’s no

money involved. Anyone

who cares about climate

change is welcome.”

As well as furthering the messages of the global

movement, the Brighton branch lobbies for

improvements on a local level. Earlier this

year they were successful in petitioning the

city council to declare a climate emergency

and pledge to make Brighton carbon neutral

by 2030. “I feel Brighton needs to be one of

the front runners in this movement and this

is a great first step,” Toope says. “Declaring

the emergency is relatively easy but becoming

carbon neutral is more of a challenge and we will

be doing everything we can to support them.”

In April, Extinction Rebellion is calling for

another week of civil disobedience around the

world and Toope intends to be among those

making their voices heard. “This is the first time

I’ve been involved in any sort of direct action.

But I’m a grandmother now and I fear for my

grandchildren’s future. I want to be able to

look them in the eye and know that I am doing

everything I can to protect the world they will

inherit.” Nione Meakin

facebook.com/nepocide

....75....


MY SPACE

.............................

Photos by Lizzie Lower

Emmaus

Business manager, Joel Lewis

The Brighton & Hove Emmaus community

is on a six-acre site in Portslade. We have

a huge second-hand superstore with loads of

furniture, kitchenware, ornaments, pictures,

books, clothing, everything. We’ve got The

Greenhouse at Emmaus, the Bedroom Store,

and Emporium, full of the best of vintage and

retro collectibles. We’ve got gardens that look

onto Norman ruins, a community vegetable

growing space, and our café – Revive at

Emmaus – serves breakfast, lunch and cream

teas. Anyone who comes up here is guaranteed

a warm welcome. You don’t have to live here

to feel valued, connected and part of our

community.

We’re one of the few charities where you

can meet the beneficiaries. Most of the people

who work here are Emmaus Companions –

the 53 men and women who live here – all of

whom have previously been homeless. The only

external funding we receive is housing benefit,

with the main income generated from our shops

and café supporting our Companions and the

wider work of Emmaus.

We’re a working community, so everyone

is expected to contribute to the running and

upkeep, with the opportunity to learn new skills.

It’s about being involved, having ownership and

participating. Some Companions stay for six

months, others have been here for more than

twelve years providing the backbone of the

community.

....76....


MY SPACE

.............................

We’ll soon be opening an exciting new

project selling clothing, jewellery and

accessories. We’ll be presenting it in an

inspiring and design-led way, looking at how

buying second-hand, pre-loved clothes can

address some of the issues of over-consumption

in the fashion industry. We’ll be doing lots of

mending and making workshops so we’re keen

to hear from creative people who might want

to be involved. Emmaus is an international

organisation so we’re thinking about potential

partnerships with other Emmaus communities

around the world.

It’s all about ‘re’ here: re-cycling, refashioning,

re-modelling, re-using. We’ve been

here 22 years, so we’ve been doing it for a long

time. All sorts of people shop here. People

with low income, students looking for stuff for

their digs, and e-bayers and car-booters who

are looking for stuff to sell on. Then we’ve got

a huge creative community in the city who are

looking for things to upcycle and re-fashion,

and ethical shoppers who refuse to buy new

when they can buy good quality second-hand.

An underpinning principle of our work

is ‘serve first those who suffer most’. We

welcome our Companions into the community

with warmth, their own room to call home,

clothing, food and support; then we think

‘who is left outside?’ and do something to

help. We’ve supported the soup run for twelve

years, provide free furniture and share skills

and knowledge with partner organisations,

and volunteer our time and manpower. All this

can happen because our visitors donate their

unwanted furniture, clothes and goods, buy a

cup of tea in our café, and come to our events.

You give us a thing, we turn that into cash to

support our Companions, this community,

and Emmaus projects across the country and

internationally. The ripple effect is amazing.

As told to Lizzie Lower

Open Monday - Saturday, 9.30am-5pm

Drove Road, Portslade. emmausbrighton.co.uk

....77....


Providing Quality Home Care in and around Brighton & Hove.

Call us for a friendly chat to see

what we can do together:

01273 829 943

Do you feel a passion to care for others?

At Martlets Care we provide high quality care to adults in their own homes in

and around Brighton and Hove, delivered with kindness, love and respect. Our

business is run as a social enterprise and all our profits go to Martlets Hospice.

Looking for a flexible and fulfilling job that makes a real difference to the lives of individuals and families

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because we look after our people - and we are now recruiting to expand our team.

Find out more at the Martlets Care RECRUITMENT ROADSHOW this spring:

Drop-In Events at Martlets Shops

Just turn-up and say hello to experienced members

of the Martlets Care agency team to find out more

about our Care Assistant jobs and home care services

at our informal drop-in events at the Martlets shops:

Wednesday 6th March in PEACEHAVEN: 10am-12noon at

the Martlets shop, 172 South Coast Road, Peacehaven, BN10 8SZ

Wednesday 13th March in BRIGHTON: 10am-12noon at the

Martlets shop, 89-90 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JF

Wednesday 20th March in HOVE: 10am-12noon at the

Martlets shop, 87 Blatchington Road, Hove, BN3 3YG

Wednesday 27th March in WOODINGDEAN: 10am-12noon

at Martlets shop, 17-19 Warren Road, Woodingdean, BN2 6PH

Thursday 4th April in BRIGHTON: 10am-12noon at the

Martlets shop, 71 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2HA

Talks : Working with Martlets Care

If you want to find out more about what work as

a Care Assistant involves and ask questions

- book your place on one of our talks.

Email recruitment@martletscare.co.uk to secure

your place. Confirmed advance bookings only

for these free events.

Tuesday 5th March in HOVE: 10am-11am at

Martlets Hospice, Wayfield Avenue, Hove, BN3 7LW

Thursday 11th April in HOVE: 10am-11am at

Martlets Care, The Point, 11 English Business Park,

English Close, Hove, BN3 7ET

If you can’t get along, see our advertised jobs at

martletscare.co.uk/work-with-us/

MartletsCare.co.uk


FEATURE

.............................

A home from home

Getting that lived-in look

A big part of Brighton’s

charm, many would say, is

its shabbiness. A little frayed

around the edges, a tad worn

in the middle, and faded

to a shade that no one can

quite agree on... what’s not

to love?

It’s this very look that

Poppy Wootton has in

mind when decorating and

furnishing the bars and

social spaces for students at the University of

Sussex campus at Falmer.

Poppy, commercial marketing manager at the

university’s Students’ Union, heads straight

to recycling websites such as Gumtree and

Facebook Marketplace, as well as scouting

residential areas renowned for leaving out “street

treasure”, to find stuff that will bring a bit of

Brighton onto campus.

“Some of our newer buildings are quite bright

and shiny,” she says, as we chat in the bright and

shiny Northfield Bar at the top of the campus.

“But students prefer a warm, lived-in feel.”

“A lot of them come to Sussex because it’s close

to Brighton. And what they like about Brighton is

that it’s a bit frayed, a bit falling apart.”

It’s also the case that the Union has a tiny budget

for furnishings and fittings, so Poppy, who has

a degree in 3D design from the University of

Manchester, has become expert at refashioning

and repurposing the odds and ends she finds.

That’s why customers in the Northfield Bar find

themselves sitting on old bus seats that she has

re-upholstered with colourful vinyl, and reading

under lampshades that she has made from spare

material and discarded frames.

Sometimes she finds

alternative uses for

objects, such as turning

old filing cabinets into

planters. At Falmer

Bar at the other end

of campus, pallets

scavenged from building

sites have been given

large cushions to create

an outside seating area,

while tin buckets are

used to grow herbs for the kitchen.

Inside the bar, students are resting on some of the

old sofas Poppy virtually leapt on the moment

they appeared on eBay.

“As soon as things become fashionable, the price

goes up,” she points out. “A while ago we bought

some great, solid-wood kitchen tables for the bar.

They’ve become much more expensive now.”

“The furniture here gets a lot of wear and tear, so I

tend to look out for the stuff with solid frames. I’m

a real hoarder. I never throw anything away. You

never know when you’re going to need it again.”

One of the useful initiatives organised by the

Union and the university is the Freshers’ Free

Shop. At the end of every academic year students

can donate items that they no longer need or want

to take away with them. People are then able to

have a look and take what they like (for free!) at

the shop during Freshers’ weekend, in September.

“We get a huge amount of electric rice cookers,”

says Poppy. “We also find that students bring

back all the pint glasses they have borrowed from

the bars. And there’s usually plenty of crockery

and cutlery. I make a point of looking out for

teaspoons, because they’re always the things that

go wandering from our office.” Jacqui Bealing

....79....


Do you want a shot at joining the amazing

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from September 2019

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FA Women’s Championship

against Man Utd, Spurs and

other top clubs

THREE training sessions a week at Lewes FC

run by Lewes FC Women First Team Manager

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Outstanding education from BTEC to

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We are the only football club

in the world to pay women

footballers the same as the

men’s team

Football trials:

Saturday 9th March

Thursday 18th April

Contact

academy@lewesfc.com

TODAY

in partnership with


WILDLIFE

.............................

Illustration by Mark Greco

Nuthatch

The fixer upper

Back garden birdwatchers know there’s a pecking

order on the peanut feeder. Coal Tits are elbowed

out by Blue Tits who in turn are ousted by Great

Tits. But when the Nuthatch shows up everything

scarpers. I don’t blame them. If I was jostling at

an all-you-can eat buffet and some fella in a black

mask brandishing a machete jumped in I’d be off

in a flash too. With its streamlined body, blue back,

pink chest and black eye-stripe the Nuthatch cuts

a dynamic figure; a swashbuckling, bird table buccaneer.

The weapon it wields is a stout, dagger-like

beak but it’s not designed for skewering birds.

Nuthatches are nuts about nuts.

The Nuthatch’s name comes from ‘nut hacker’, a

reference to the bird’s habit of jamming hazelnuts

and acorns into tree crevices and then using its

powerful bill to noisily smash them open. There’s

an old Sussex name which fits this manic, intense

bird perfectly: Nutjobber. I have never seen this

nutty little bird sitting still. They’re so crazy about

climbing that they’re the only British bird that can

actually climb headfirst down a tree.

At this time of year our garden birds become more

vocal and aggressive as they claim and defend

territories and croon their tunes to attract a mate.

Spring lacks this urgency for the male Nuthatch.

He hasn’t stopped fighting all winter as he angrily

defends his hectare of woodland. Nuthatches are

monogamous too and the loyal pair soon dispense

with spring serenades and get down to the hard

work of making a home. Many birds start from

scratch. Twigs and moss are laboriously collected

and nests are painstakingly woven. Nuthatches

however are happy to let someone else undertake

the heavy construction work. Their residence

of choice is a spacious tree cavity drilled and

abandoned by a woodpecker. Sure, it needs a bit

of work but the Nuthatches will make do and

mend. The main problem is the front door. It’s

too big. This gaping hole can let in predators or

Starling squatters who will happily turf out nesting

Nuthatches. So while the male keeps guard the

female Nuthatch starts bricking up the entrance

hole. Her bill is used like a plasterer’s trowel smearing

mouthfuls of mud until the terracotta porch

is perfectly Nuthatch-sized. She is a compulsive

builder and if they move into a nestbox she still

cannot resist plastering mud around the hole, even

if it’s already the right size.

And it’s great to report on a bird that’s actually

increasing in number and range. Once restricted

to south-east England the Nuthatch now breeds

in Scotland – probably assisted by the provision of

garden peanut feeders as it marched north. And as

Britain seemingly gets crazier by the day it’s nice

to know there’s still space for a few more nutjobs.

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust

....81....


INSIDE LEFT: PRESTON CIRCUS, 1903

.....................................................................................

These chaps are taking a welcome break from

laying the tram junction at Preston Circus, in

the summer of 1903. The Circus was widened to

build the tram junction, and the Amber Brewery

was demolished to facilitate the process, with

Brighton Fire Station being built on the site.

The junction formed part of lines ‘B’ and ‘D’,

the last two of ten to be constructed by Brighton

Corporations Tramways, completing the 9½

mile system. This didn’t, unfortunately, take

passengers everywhere they needed to go: in his

book Underdog Brighton, writer Rocky Hill calls it

a ‘curiously unbalanced affair’. Hoteliers blocked

it from running along the seafront; shopkeepers

lobbied against it serving Western Road or St

James Street; middle-class interest groups prevented

tracks being built anywhere in Hove. And

so ‘it radiated out to the valleys of London Road

and Lewes Road’.

There were 50 vehicles in service, all of which

were four-wheeled, open-top double deckers, six

feet wide and nearly 30 feet long. It was hard work

operating the vehicles: the driver had to stand for

the whole of his shift and in early models of the

tram his chassis was open to the elements; the

conductor had to walk up and down the narrow

stairs, between the crowded decks, selling tickets.

And yet the trams were hugely popular. In the

year this picture was taken, a total of 11 million

passengers used the service, paying a penny a

ticket. They were in use for nearly four decades,

replaced – controversially – with trolley buses

on 1st September 1939, two days before the

outbreak of WW2.

Laying the tracks must have been thirsty work,

made even thirstier by the tempting sight of the

Hare & Hounds behind them. The building you

can see in the picture was torn down in 1905 and

replaced with the current premises.

It’s interesting to see how there are two very different

groups of men in the picture, the labourers

on the right, in shirtsleeves and flat caps, and,

on the other side of the tracks, the dark-suited

fellows in their boaters, presumably employees

hailing from further up the social hierarchy. If

everyone did go for a pint in the Hare & Hounds

afterwards, they would most probably have stood

in different sections of the establishment. AL

Many thanks to the Regency Society for letting us

use this image from the James Gray archive.

....82....


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